VIENNA — Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday that the Kingdom, in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is actively working to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy in various fields.

This includes the Kingdom’s National Atomic Energy Project, which encompasses the establishment of the first nuclear power plant in the country, the minister said while addressing the 67th General Assembly meeting of IAEA in Vienna, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Abdulaziz said Saudi Arabia is looking forward to activating a regional cooperation center, in partnership with IAEA, to develop human capabilities in the areas of preparedness and response to radiological and nuclear emergencies and other regulatory aspects at the national, regional and international levels.

The minister stressed the importance of concerted international efforts to implement the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the importance of confronting nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, which requires the full implementation of Resolution No. 1995 to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

The minister announced the Kingdom’s support for the ‘Rays of Hope’ initiative launched by IAEA, with a contribution amounting to $2.5 million, in order to help save lives and address the burden of cancer by using nuclear techniques. This initiative includes sustainability-based projects aimed at strengthening the necessary legislation and infrastructure for radiation safety.

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