Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia sign a nuclear deal

RIYADH: Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The agreement was signed in Riyadh yesterday during a visit by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The agreement was signed by Kazakh energy minister Kanat Bozumbayev and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) president Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani.

Bozumbayev said, “Kazakhstan is a leader in the production of natural uranium. We have a joint venture with Russia for uranium enrichment. We produce [fuel] pellets; we are at the stage of creating fuel assemblies. We have the necessary experience, which we can share with our Saudi colleagues.”

Kazakhstan has 12% of the world’s uranium resources and an expanding mining sector, producing about 23,800 tonnes in 2015, and planning for further increase to 2018.

A separate Memorandum of Understanding, in the fields of agriculture and livestock, was signed by Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdurrahman Al-Fadhli and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Askar Myrzakhmetov.

An agreement in the fields of extradition of wanted persons and another one in the transfer of prisoners were also signed by Deputy Interior Minister Abdulrahman Al-Rubaian and Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor Zhaqip Asanov.

Nazarbayev held separate talks with Iyad Madani, secretary general of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Bandar Hajjar, president of Islamic Development Bank. Their talks mainly focused on issues of common interest.