ABU DHABI // The UAE signed its first nuclear cooperation agreement with a South American country after Sheikh Khalifa, the President, met the Argentine leader Cristina de Kirchner yesterday.
The deal makes Argentina the eighth country to have signed nuclear ties with the UAE.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Hector Timerman, Argentina's foreign minister, signed the agreement.
Hamad Al Kaabi, the UAE's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the deal was similar to those signed with other nations.
The UAE has signed nuclear agreements with the US, the UK, South Korea, France, Canada, Russia and Australia since 2009.
"The agreement constitutes a framework which governs and facilitates cooperation in the area of peaceful nuclear energy and related applications between the two countries," Mr Al Kaabi said. "It allows the transfer of knowledge, technology and nuclear material to the UAE.
"Argentina has a well-developed nuclear sector with multiple nuclear power plants in operation, as well as a strong industry base for nuclear research, human resources development and training, which the UAE is interested to benefit from."
The country has had two nuclear reactors running in Buenos Aires since 1974, with a third reactor expected to be operational by June.
The agreement was signed at Al Diyafa Palace in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, during the visit by Ms de Kirchner ahead of the World Future Energy Summit in the capital this week.
The state news agency Wam said Sheikh Khalifa ensured the relationship between the UAE and Argentina would develop further.
Ms de Kirchner expressed interest in developing relations for the economic, investment, tourism and space sectors.
Both leaders also agreed on deals involving air transport, fisheries and livestock. The air-transport agreement was signed by Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Mr Timerman.
The fisheries and livestock agreement was signed by Norberto Gustavo, Argentina's agriculture minister, and Dr Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water.
The third agreement, for peaceful cooperation on space issues, was signed for the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology, the UAE's space programme, and the Argentinian National Space Activities Commission, by the foreign ministers.