EU, IAEA to enhance cooperation in nuclear energy

Thursday, May 8, 2008

BRUSSELS, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission and the UN nuclear watchdog on Wednesday signed a joint statement on enhanced cooperation in nuclear energy.

The purpose of the joint statement is to highlight the mutual will to further strengthen cooperation, emphasize the specific priority areas and provide for regular high-level meetings to facilitate this reinforced cooperation, said the commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei witnessed the signing of the statement.

The signing of the document marks the start of a new stage in cooperation between the two institutions, said Barroso.

"It is important to join our efforts to monitor the development of nuclear energy in a peaceful, safe and secure manner, fully respecting global non-proliferation objectives," he said in a statement.

The IAEA and the EU have common objectives on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in particular the strengthening of nuclear safety and global guarantees for non-proliferation, he said.

"More recently we have to increasingly focus on the difficult issues of non-proliferation and the safeguarding of nuclear materials," said Barroso.

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