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Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan have signed a nuclear deal as part of a new deal to improve bilateral relations between the two countries.
A cooperation agreement relating to the peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed by the president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Dr Hashim Yamani, and Kazakhstan’s Minister for Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev.
Memorandums of understanding were also signed in the fields of agriculture, livestock, water, the extradition of wanted persons, and the transfer of prisoners.
Saudi Arabia is one of several Middle Eastern states looking into setting up a nuclear power programme. Although its nuclear programme is in its infancy, the Kingdom has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. A 2010 royal decree identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination, while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.