Saudi Arabia Reaffirms Commitment to Nuclear Energy at International Conference

In a significant declaration of its dedication to nuclear energy, Saudi Arabia has pledged to adhere to a comprehensive international safeguards framework, firmly upholding the Kingdom’s principles of transparency, reliability, and safety. The announcement was made by Saudi Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, during his address at the 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Austria. Prince Abdulaziz outlined the manifold advantages of nuclear power, emphasizing its role in enhancing energy security, as well as its potential for social and economic development.

Prince Abdulaziz underscored Saudi Arabia’s proactive approach to harnessing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, highlighting the nation’s commitment to collaborating closely with the IAEA while adhering to international best practices and experiences. This commitment extends to the Saudi Arabia National Atomic Energy Project, which encompasses the construction of the country’s inaugural nuclear power station.

“The Kingdom has recently taken the decision to rescind its Small Quantities Protocol and to move to the implementation of a full-scope Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement,” revealed the minister. This decision signifies Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability in its nuclear endeavors.

In addition to its safeguard commitments, Saudi Arabia is set to establish a regional cooperation center in partnership with the IAEA, aimed at bolstering preparedness for nuclear emergencies. Prince Abdulaziz elaborated on the center’s objectives, stating that it will focus on enhancing human capabilities in radiological emergency preparedness and response, in addition to addressing regulatory aspects at national, regional, and international levels. This initiative aligns perfectly with the Kingdom’s dedication to global efforts to uphold the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Prince Abdulaziz emphasized the pressing need to counter nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, calling for the full implementation of a resolution aimed at establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region. This stance underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to regional stability and its pursuit of a peaceful, nuclear-free Middle East.

Furthermore, during his address, Prince Abdulaziz announced Saudi Arabia’s support for the “Rays of Hope” initiative spearheaded by the IAEA, pledging a generous contribution of $2.5 million. This initiative is geared towards harnessing nuclear technologies to combat cancer and save lives, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to utilizing nuclear science for the betterment of humanity.

The Saudi Minister of Energy also lauded the forthcoming inauguration of the Nuclear Security Training Center in Seibersdorf, scheduled for October, and highlighted Saudi Arabia’s role in initiating the concept and providing financial support in collaboration with other nations. He commended the IAEA for its commitment to neutrality and its efforts to address non-proliferation concerns.

Prince Abdulaziz reiterated the fundamental right of states to utilize peaceful nuclear technology, including participation in the nuclear fuel cycle and the commercial utilization of natural uranium resources, all in alignment with relevant international treaties and agreements. He urged the international community to engage in constructive cooperation to advance the utilization of nuclear technology for the betterment of humanity while also robustly addressing any instances of non-peaceful and unsafe utilization of nuclear technologies.

Saudi Arabia’s unequivocal commitment to nuclear energy, as articulated by Prince Abdulaziz at the IAEA conference, highlights the Kingdom’s dedication to responsible and transparent nuclear development while contributing to global efforts for peace, security, and the advancement of science and medicine through nuclear technology.

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