U.S. President George W. Bush approved a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with Turkey this week, saying it would serve as a boon to nonproliferation, the White House said (see GSN, Oct. 17, 2007).
On Tuesday, the president sent U.S. lawmakers a July 2000 accord in which then-President Bill Clinton pledged to provide Turkey with U.S. support in developing a nuclear energy program, Agence France-Presse reported.
The deal "permits the transfer of technology, material, equipment (including reactors), and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production," a White House official said. "It does not permit transfers of sensitive nuclear technology, restricted data, or sensitive nuclear facilities or major critical components of such facilities."
In a letter to Congress, which could pass a bill to nullify the agreement, Bush said the deal would "serve as a strong incentive for Turkey to continue its support for nonproliferation objectives and enact future sound nonproliferation policies and practices."
The deal extends for an initial 15 years and would then be automatically renewed for five-year terms unless Turkey or the United States decide to cancel the arrangement (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Jan. 24).