WASHINGTON, DC (7 April 2009) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met today with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During the meeting, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed the UAE’s strong ongoing support for Afghanistan-Pakistan stabilization initiatives, for the Middle East peace process, and for multilateral efforts toward improving Gulf security. The Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of the completed and signed US-UAE Bilateral Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation, calling it a “model for the development of civilian nuclear energy programs” Expressing appreciation for the United States’ role in promoting stability in the Gulf region, the Foreign Minister said, “The UAE will continue to be a very strong friend and ally to your great country.”
Speaking to reporters just prior to her meeting with the Foreign Minister, Secretary of State Clinton characterized the UAE-US bilateral relationship as “very close and constructive,” and described it as encompassing “a broad array of important issues.” “I’m looking forward to deepening and strengthening that partnership,” said Secretary Clinton.
With Secretary Clinton and in a separate meeting later in the day with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the Foreign Minister also encouraged the timely notification to the US Congress of the nuclear agreement, observing that the proposed UAE nuclear program meets all of the guarantees and controls of Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act.
The Foreign Minister also noted that over the last year, the UAE had already endorsed the key elements of the nonproliferation framework presented by President Obama in his speech last Sunday in Prague. This includes a binding commitment not to enrich uranium or to process spent fuel; absolute transparency for civilian nuclear energy programs; the endorsement of international nonproliferation protocols; and the creation of an international nuclear fuel bank to assure security of supply and to remove any rationale for unilateral enrichment programs. Signaling its unqualified commitment to this goal, the UAE contributed $10 million to the IAEA fuel bank proposed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
With one of the world’s most intensive and comprehensive future energy programs, the UAE diplomats also explored expanding government-to-government cooperation on renewable energy and climate change with the US energy secretary. “The UAE has quickly become a leader in renewable energy much as we have become a global leader in oil and gas. Toward that end, no country is investing more per capita in alternative energy,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba who joined the Foreign Minister in the meetings with Secretaries Chu and Clinton.