On May 21, 2009, President Obama submitted to Congress an Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Arab Emirates Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Once it enters into force, the Agreement (also called a 123 Agreement) will establish the legal framework for the United States to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with the UAE under agreed nonproliferation conditions and controls.
The Agreement will establish a firm foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation in civil nuclear energy, and will serve as a model for responsible nuclear energy development. The UAE Agreement contains the strongest nonproliferation conditions of any negotiated by the United States. Of special note is the UAE’s commitment to obtain nuclear fuel from reliable and responsible suppliers rather than pursue indigenous uranium enrichment and reprocessing, fuel cycle activities that pose the most serious proliferation risks. This commitment is reflected within the Agreement as a legally binding obligation on the part of the UAE not to engage in enrichment or reprocessing within its territory.
This Agreement can serve as a model for countries in the region pursuing responsible civil nuclear energy development undertaken in full conformity with international nonproliferation commitments and obligations. It demonstrates the advantages of transparency, engagement, and cooperation. It also reflects the strong commitment of both countries to the development of civil nuclear energy in a safe and secure manner, as well as to the promotion of a strong global nuclear nonproliferation regime. By signing this Agreement, the United States and the UAE have taken an important step in building a long and fruitful partnership to enhance nonproliferation and energy security in the region.