Bangladesh cashes in Nam Summit with others

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated Bangladesh’s proposal for setting up a hydropower project with Nepal in joint venture.

She made the proposal again during her meeting with Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on the sidelines of the 16th Nam Summit in Tehran, reports BSS.

After the meeting, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad briefed reporters. During the meeting, he said, the two leaders discussed issues relating to bilateral interests.

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Hasina laid emphasis on regional cooperation in the greater interest of development of the region.

Earlier, Hasina expressed her interest in the joint venture hydropower project during her bilateral meeting with Bhattarai in November last year in the Maldives during the Saarc Summit.

During their meeting yesterday, the Nepalese prime minister sought Bangladesh investment in the Himalayan country either in the form of FDI or joint venture.

He also underscored the need for boosting trade relations between the two countries for mutual benefits.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni was present at the meeting.

HASINA MEETS KHAMENEI
Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei yesterday stressed the need for further expansion of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Iran as Hasina called on him on the sidelines of the summit.

Khamenei emphasised that both the countries could work together in different international forums for common benefit.

After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Azad briefed reporters.

The Iranian supreme leader welcomed Hasina and her delegation, and thanked her for participating in the summit.

He highlighted the historical, cultural and religious links between the two brotherly countries, and lauded the role of Bangladesh in different international bodies such as the UN, Nam, OIC and D-8. He hoped that as the new chair of 120-nation Nam, Iran would be able to play an effective role for strengthening the solidarity among member states. He sought Bangladesh’s support in this regard.

In response, the prime minister called for greater unity among the Muslim countries, and hoped that the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) would take initiatives to solve problems within the Muslim nations through consultations. Thanking the Iranian leader, Hasina appreciated his speech at the inaugural session of the summit.

She assured him of Bangladesh’s full support to Iran during the chairmanship of Nam over the next three years.

Hasina recalled that in the month of August, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had been assassinated. Khamenei particularly offered his prayers for the eternal peace of Bangabandhu’s departed soul.

The prime minister was accompanied by Dipu Moni, Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes and Bangladesh Ambassador to Iran Khondker Abdus Sattar.

HASINA CHAIRS GENERAL DISCUSSION AT NAM

The prime minister yesterday chaired a session of the general discussion at the summit.

Bangladesh has been elected as one of the vice-chairs of the 16th Nam Summit. In this capacity, Hasina presided over the session previous to the closing session of the summit.

UNB adds: Wrapping up her four-day tour, Hasina is scheduled to land at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 6:30 pm (Bangladesh time) today.

During the visit, the prime minister delivered her speech at the plenary session of the summit on the opening day. Besides, she had talks on the sidelines with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The two-day main summit of the Nam started on Thursday at the OIC Convention Centre in Tehran and ended yesterday adopting the Tehran Declaration.