Dipu Moni flies to Russia today | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 20, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 20, 2010

Initial Deal for N-power

Dipu Moni flies to Russia today

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who is now attending OIC Foreign Ministers Conference in Tajikistan, will begin an official visit to Russia from today to sign a preliminary deal for setting up a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.
Officials said Bangladesh and Russia will sign a framework agreement on setting up a nuclear power plant as well as peaceful usage of nuclear technology during Dipu Moni's visit to Moscow on May 20-21.
Under the framework agreement, the two countries would strike other deals necessary for operationalisation of the proposed Rooppur nuclear plant in Pabna.
The two countries already signed a memorandum of understanding in Dhaka agreeing to enhance cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
As per the agreement, the state-owned Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation--Rosatom--will work together to push forward the proposed power plant project.
Foreign ministry sources said after the signing of the framework agreement, detailed discussions would take place on financing and technical matters of the project.
During the visit, the foreign minister will hold bilateral talks with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and the two leaders would witness the signing of the nuclear agreement.
According to foreign ministry officials, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Russia by the year-end or early next year and Dipu Moni's Russia trip is mainly focused on Hasina's visit.
"I will also have talks with my Russian counterpart on Bangladesh-Russia cooperation in nuclear technology and other bilateral issues," Dipu Moni said while talking to diplomatic correspondents last week.
Officials expect that a wide range of understanding might be reached between Dhaka and Moscow for cooperation in the fields of power and energy during Dipu Moni's visit to Russia.
Besides seeking cooperation in power sector, Bangladesh will ask for cooperation in a number of sectors, including agriculture.
Meanwhile, addressing the 37th session of the Conference of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, Dipu Moni yesterday said deepening the bond among brotherly Muslim countries is a cornerstone of Bangladesh foreign policy.
She hailed the recent agreement between Iran, Turkey, and Brazil on the nuclear fuel swap and said that Bangladesh always supports peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Referring to the rising Islamophobia in the West, she said, “We should not over-react, but engage thoroughly, systematically, persuasively showing why such actions are prejudiced and discriminatory.”
She made a reference to Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1990, and supported establishment of a Human Rights Commission in Jeddah.
She also met the foreign ministers of United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the sidelines of the meeting and discussed issues of mutual interest and concern.

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