Russia and Jordan signed on Friday a 10-year nuclear cooperation agreement, under which power plants, desalination stations, research facilities and personnel training centers will be built in the Hashemite Kingdom, the Russian Information Agency Novosti reported.
The agreement was signed in Moscow between Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear corporation, and Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission chief Khaled Toukan.
"The signed agreement is the beginning of major strategic cooperation between the two countries. We intend to cooperate in the construction of nuclear power plants... and plan to build four plants in Jordan in the coming decades," Kiriyenko was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency.
Toukan told reporters: "We have started negotiations on various areas of cooperation, but the most important of them is the construction of a nuclear power plant for production of electric power, and of a desalination station."
Many Middle Eastern countries have recently announced their intention to build nuclear power plants for civilian purposes. Nuclear plants are an efficient solution for generating electricity at a time of spiking oil prices, and are also considered to be a non-polluting technology.
The United Arab Emirates plan to open their first nuclear power plant in 2015, while Algeria is expected to open one in 2020. Egypt has also announced its plans to build a nuclear plant. Meanwhile, Iran's first civilian plant in Bushehr is scheduled to become operational by this summer.