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Tue 23 Feb 2010 08:14 AM

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Hans Blix heads UAE's nuclear advisory group

Former head of the IAEA will lead nine member International Advisory Board.

Hans Blix heads UAE's nuclear advisory group
IAB HEAD: Hans Blix will lead the nine-member board. (Getty Images)

Hans Blix, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will lead the UAE’s advisory group on nuclear energy.

The nine-member International Advisory Board (IAB) held its first meeting on Monday, moving the emirates a step closer to its nuclear ambitions.

Blix, who lead the IAEA for 17 years, became more publicly known in his involvement in the search for proof of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in his position as chairman of the UN team.

“It would seem to me that getting Hans Blix would be entirely in line with the Abu Dhabi approach of trying to cherry-pick the best available minds,” David Butter, the Middle East regional director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, told the National.

The UAE plans to have four nuclear reactors operational by 2017.

The IAB is set to publish a report on the progress of the nuclear programme by the end of April.

“If you can envision a future where all new nuclear states had objective, multi-national peer review of their programmes, there would be very little concern about non-peaceful uses and unsafe practices. The international community could be much more comfortable about the adoption of nuclear power and new nuclear states,” an unnamed official told the paper.

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