PM’s participation in IAEA conference to brighten Bangladesh’s image: FM

DHAKA, May 28, 2017 (BSS) - Participation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference would reinforce Bangladesh's firm stand against expansion of nuclear weapon programme, said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali here today.

"Her (Premier) participation in the conference would brighten the country's image abroad as the developing and other LDCs would be able to learn from Bangladesh about the peaceful use of nuclear power which is paying a vital role in the country's socio-economic development," he said. The minister said this at a press briefing at foreign ministry ahead of the PM's Austria visit to attend the conference and to hold a bilateral meeting with the Federal Chancellor of Austria Christian Kern.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haquea, among others, were present at the briefing.

In the conference, Mahmood Ali said the Premier would focus on IAEA Technical Cooperation (TC) Programme role in building technical capacity of Bangladesh on nuclear power, achieving socio-economic development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"The PM will also highlight various pragmatic programmes undertaken by the government for building a science-based "Digital Society" through proper use of science, technology and innovative power," he added.

Bangladesh has been working closely with IAEA for peaceful use of nuclear technology after receiving of the IAEA membership on September 27, 1972, he further added.

According to itinerary, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Vienna, Austria on Monday morning to attend the "Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: 60 years and Beyond- Contributing to Development" on May 30. During the visit, she is scheduled to hold talks with Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern and meet Austrian Federal President Alexander Van Der Bellen.

During the meetings, matters relating to enhance cooperation in agriculture and livestock sectors, operation of direct Biman flight, foreign office consultations and bilateral trade and investment would likely to come up in the discussions prominently, the foreign minister told the briefing.

"Issues like global terrorism, crisis in migration,climate change and post Brexit situation in different European countries would also be discussed during the meetings," he added.

The minister said there was a possibility to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on foreign office consultations between the two countries. The Prime Minister is also set to hold a meeting with the Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano. She will join an Iftar programme and community event at Grand Hotel in the afternoon. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return home in the morning on May 31.

Austria was played a major role among the European countries that

recognised Bangladesh as an independent state in 1972. The then Austrian Prime Minister or Federal Chancellor Bruno Kriesky played the pioneering role in this regard.

In recognition of his role for Bangladesh's War of Liberation,the

government awarded him with the "Friends of Liberation War Honour Award" in 2012.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)