The United States said today that it would not oppose if Malaysia were to pursue a nuclear energy programme for peaceful purposes.

Its ambassador to Malaysia Christopher J. LaFleur said there were very clear international guidelines for such a programme.

“Many other countries do it…Malaysia wants to do it…fine, we have no objection,” he said when asked by Bernama on an earlier comment he made during a question-and-answer session at an intellectual discourse, on Iran’s nuclear programme and whether Malaysia would face any objection if it did the same.

Earlier, LaFleur had delivered a speech at the “The US and Malaysia in 2007” discourse organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Human Ecology in Serdang today.

LaFleur said that nuclear energy was quite important for countries which had no energy resources of their own.

“If Malaysia wants to develop that field, we don’t have a problem,” he added.

Asked whether the US would assist Malaysia if the country were to pursue such a programme, the ambassador said that his country had specific procedures for assistance or cooperation in the matter.

“I think if Malaysian research institutes want to cooperate on nuclear energy research, I am sure there will be American institutions that will be happy to work with them.”

To another question whether there was any plan for US President George W. Bush to visit Malaysia, he said there was none at the moment.