Abu Dhabi: The UAE and France on Tuesday signed two agreements on nuclear and military cooperation and three memorandums of understanding on intellectual property, transport and education.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and French President Nicholas Sarkozy attended the signing of the landmark nuclear cooperation agreement between the UAE and France.
Signed by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, and French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner, the nuclear agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the two countries in the evaluation and potential use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Under the agreement, the UAE and France will set up a high-level joint committee to supervise cooperation in the areas of nuclear power generation, water desalination, basic and applied research, as well as in agronomy, earth sciences, medicine and industry.
The UAE is undertaking high-level government-to-government consultations with the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea, specifically with regard to drafting a UAE policy document on the evaluation and possible implementation of a peaceful nuclear programme in the UAE, Shaikh Abdullah said.
Similar direct consultations are also being sought with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Shaikh Abdullah said, adding that: "It is the UAE's hope that the final policy may also serve as a replicable model for non-nuclear countries to evaluate and potentially implement peaceful nuclear programme with full support from the international community."
He reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to be part of the GCC-wide initiative to explore the potential for peaceful nuclear power generation in the Gulf region.
Shaikh Khalifa's talks on Tuesday with Sarkozy, in the presence of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, covered bilateral ties and ways to enhance them in various fields, especially political, economic, military, cultural and investment sectors.
The talks were also attended by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Interior Minister, Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Shaikh Abdullah.
Khalifa reiterated the UAE's keenness to widen the avenues of joint cooperation and investment between both nations and valued the successful cultural and scientific convergence between the UAE and France, which was reflected by the establishment of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum in the Saadiyat Island and the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.