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Jordan, U.S. agree to cooperate to prevent illegal nuclear trade
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08:59, December 17, 2008

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Jordan and U.S. on Tuesday agreed to join hands to prevent illegal trading of nuclear and radiological materials, the U.S. embassy here said in a statement.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides, the U.S. will provide radiation detection equipment at the Red Sea port of Aqaba and some land border crossings in the kingdom, provide maintenance services as well as train local staffhow to use the equipment, according to the statement.

This will help Jordan prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radiological material by expanding its detection systems to include airports, seaports, and land border crossings, said the statement.

In a drive to reduce Jordan's dependence on imported hydrocarbons, the government mapped out a nuclear energy program last year, under which Jordan will have its first nuclear reactor up and running by 2016

So far, Jordan has managed to win supports from the UN nuclear watch dog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United States and the European Union among others, while inking a series of cooperation deals with countries like France, Canada, Britain, China and South Korea.

Jordan is one of Washington's key allies in the Middle East.


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