President Barack Obama agreed Wednesday to share US nuclear power technology with the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, giving his consent to a deal signed in the final days of George W. Bush's administration.
The pact now goes to Congress, which will have 90 days to amend or reject it.
The agreement creates a legal framework for the US to transfer sensitive nuclear items to the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven Middle Eastern states that wants nuclear power to satisfy growing demand for electricity.
Although flush with oil, the emirates imports 60 percent of the natural gas they use to generate electricity. The United Arab Emerates wants to break its dependence on outside sources for its energy needs and settled on nuclear power as the best option.