PM urges UK to lift ban on cargo flights

DHAKA, Dec 21, 2016 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the British government to lift an existing ban on Dhaka-London direct cargo flights as British premier's Trade Envoy for Bangladesh Rushanara Ali called on her at Ganabhaban.

"In response to the call, Rushanara Ali told the prime minister that she would discuss the issue on lifting ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London with the UK government," PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters as her British counterpart's envoy and lawmaker made the call on this evening.

On March 8 last, the UK banned air cargo directly from Dhaka until further notice citing "security concerns".

The press secretary said the prime minister and the UK House of Commons member also discussed matters relating to boosting of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Sheikh Hasina expressed satisfaction over the signing of a memorandum understanding (MoU) between a British firm and Bangladesh Railway for construction of a railway track in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Railway and British company DP Rail Ltd yesterday signed the MoU for setting up a 240-kilometre rail line between Dhaka and Payra seaport in Patuakhali's Kuakata.

Railway officials said according to their initial estimate the railway lines could cost an amount of Tk 60,000 crore, which would be provided by the British company but the actual cost of the mega project would be determined after a feasibility study.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina sought more UK investment in different potential sectors in Bangladesh.

While talking about election of three Bangladeshi-origin MPs in the British House of Commons, the prime minister said: "She is proud to see three Bangladeshi daughters in UK parliament".

Tulip Rizwana Siddiq, a granddaughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a niece of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Rushnara Ali, who hails from Biswanath in Sylhet, and Dr Rupa Huq, who hails from Pabna, were elected MPs from Labour Party in the May 7, 2015 UK general elections.

PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum and British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake were present at the meeting.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) National News Agency of Bangladesh