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Article by: Sapa
Published: 27 May 2010
|SA signs nuclear deal with Algeria|
|The South African government has signed a nuclear agreement with Algeria, the Energy Department announced on Wednesday.
The agreement was signed in Algiers between Energy Minister Dipuo Peters and her Algerian counterpart Dr Chakib Khelil on Wednesday, the department said in a statement.
Both countries had agreed to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Peters accompanied President Jacob Zuma on a State visit to the north African country to discuss the deal.
"We believe that the peaceful use of nuclear energy among the African countries is critical in contributing to the decimation of energy poverty on our continent and will catapult our two countries onto an even higher economic development," Peters said.
South Africa and Algeria would also work together on "exchanges in the production of medical radioisotopes", which would see the two trading staff and expertise.
"South Africa has moved from being a pariah for its use of nuclear technology in furtherance of the objective of the apartheid State, to a country that respects and conforms to all the international conventions on the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Peters said.
"Accordingly, we have become the leading producer and supplier of the much sought after medical radioisotopes which are based on low-enriched uranium fuel."
Talks between Zuma and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ended on Wednesday with both countries pledging to establish "peace, stability and economic development" in Africa.
Zuma used the two-day visit to cement political and economic relations between the two countries, the Presidency said in a statement.
Apart from working together on nuclear energy, the countries agreed to cooperate on issues related to sports and recreation, and petroleum and gas, and in areas such as labour, water and tourism.
However, both stressed the need to strengthen the African Union's (AU's) capacity for conflict prevention, management and resolution.
Zuma and Bouteflika condemned the violation of human rights in African countries, particularly those in the Western Sahara and called on the United Nations (UN) to assume its responsibilities on the issue.
They also condemned terrorism in all its forms and in all parts of the world and reiterated their support for AU and UN resolutions making the payment of ransoms illegal.
Zuma congratulated Algeria for qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and said that the soccer event would benefit not only South Africa, but Africa as a whole.