200924 IAEA
People sit at desks keeping social distance during the general conference of the IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has contributed $10 million (Dh36.7 million) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for setting up of a specialised centre to combat nuclear terrorism, said Prince Abdullah Bin Khalid Bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Austria, on Tuesday.

Prince Abdullah said Saudi Arabia has transferred the funds to begin the work on the Seibersdorf centre in Austria.

Saudi Arabia has also donated 500,000 euros (Dh2.1 million) for the project to modernise the IAEA laboratories in Seibersdorf.

Prince Abdullah affirmed that the kingdom’s government is seeking to benefit from the expertise of the IAEA in introducing nuclear energy to contribute to the national energy mix, and what this requires of human capacity development in order to build an integrated and sustainable national system for the energy sector, following the agency’s standards.

He was speaking at the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA, being held in the Austrian capital Vienna from September 21-25.

Prince Abdullah pointed out that the position of the kingdom’s government is based on the principle of the right of states to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in all its fields, without prejudice to their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It also supports positive initiatives calling for the creation of geographical areas free of nuclear weapons, and renewed its call to work with the international community to make the Middle East a zone free of these weapons.

He also renewed the kingdom’s concern over Iran’s exploitation of the nuclear agreement, its continuing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as its failure to implement the safeguards agreement concluded with the IAEA in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the need for the international community to take a firm stance towards Iran, and dealing seriously with its excesses related to its nuclear programme.