Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Bu$h Promotes Oil for Nukes in $audi Arabia
Congressman Ed Markey asks Dept of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman about President Bush’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, where Bush discussed helping Saudi Arabia develop nuclear power.
Bush in Saudi Arabia for Nuclear Deal
By Scott Stearns
16 May 2008
U.S. President George Bush is in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Washington and Riyadh. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, the two leaders are expected to reach agreement on civilian nuclear technology.
President Bush and King Abdullah inspected a military honor guard in Riyadh before private talks at the king's horse farm outside the capital.
They will discuss a deal to help the kingdom develop civilian nuclear power for medical and industrial uses as well as generating electricity. The agreement provides access to safe, reliable fuel sources for nuclear reactors and demonstrates what the Bush Administration calls Saudi leadership as a non-proliferation model for the region.
The agreement expands cooperation to better safeguard the kingdom's vast oil reserves and its pipeline distribution system, as well as borders.
As part of the deal, Saudi Arabia joins a global initiative to combat nuclear terrorism to enhance the protection of nuclear systems and improve its ability to detect and confiscate illegally held nuclear material.
The kingdom also joins an international alliance to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, including delivery systems.
President Bush says he will ask King Abdullah to boost Saudi oil production to drive down record energy prices. A similar request in January was denied as Saudi output has held steady at just over 8.5 million barrels a day.
Relations between Washington and Riyadh are strained by the war in Iraq. Unlike the first Gulf War when Saudi Arabia boosted oil production and helped pay for the liberation of Kuwait, the kingdom opposed America's 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
U.S. National Security Advisor Steve Hadley says it remains a partnership of common interests.