MNA – US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Friday he will meet new Saudi energy minister and likely discuss Saudi Arabia’s plans to build nuclear reactors.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Friday he will meet the new Saudi energy minister on Monday and likely discuss plans Saudi Arabia has to build nuclear reactors, reports Aljazeera.
Perry did not say where he would meet Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who took over from Khalid al-Falih on Sunday. But a US official said the meeting would likely take place on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna next week.
The kingdom has so far resisted agreeing to standards that would block its ability to enrich uranium and reprocessing of plutonium, possible pathways to making an atomic weapon.
On Monday, Prince Abdulaziz said the kingdom wanted to enrich uranium for its nuclear power programme, potentially complicating talks with the Trump administration on the atomic pact and the role of US companies.
Perry told reporters at department headquarters on Friday the kingdom must agree to so-called “123” nonproliferation standards before coming to any agreement.
Last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said the kingdom does not want to develop nuclear weapons but will pursue them if its regional rival Iran does.