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Dhaka Monday,  Jun 25, 2018

PM Flies To Vienna tomorrow to join IAEA conference


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for Austria on Monday to attend the conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA) marking its 60 years.

Hasina will also have bilateral talks with her Austrian counterpart, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told the media on Sunday.

Leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Caribbean will attend the conference in Vienna called  “International Conference on the Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development”.

A special Biman Bangladesh flight carrying Hasina and her entourage will take off from Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 9am.

Ali said the prime minister’s participation will reaffirm Bangladesh’s commitment to world peace.

Her participation will also “brighten” the country’s image, he said, as Bangladesh always pursues peaceful use of atomic power.

Bangladesh became member of the IAEA in 1972. The prime minister’s husband, late nuclear scientist Dr MA Wazed Miah played a key role to get the membership.

Ali said the prime minister in her speech will highlight how the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme is helping Bangladesh in enhancing atomic energy capabilities, socio-economic development and sustainable development.

She will also highlight the use of science, technology in ‘digital Bangladesh’.

The foreign minister said Austria is one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh in 1972.

The then Austrian Federal Chancellor Bruno Kriesky supported Bangladesh. Hasina awarded him with the ‘Friends of Liberation War Honor Award’ in 2012.

Bangladesh opened a resident mission in Vienna in 2014.

Ali said part of the government’s ‘broader engagement with Europe Policy,’ they had taken steps to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation with Austria also.

Hasina is also expected to have a bilateral meeting with Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern.

Agriculture and livestock cooperation and starting direct flight and holding regular diplomatic consultations would be some of the areas the prime minister will discuss, apart from trade, investment and sustainable development, said Foreign Minister Ali.

Global terrorism, migration, refugee crisis, climate change and post-Brexit Europe situation are some of the international issues they will also discuss.

A MoU on foreign office consultations will also be signed during the visit, the foreign minister said.

Hasina will also have a courtesy call on Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen

Ali hoped that the bilateral relations will be “strengthened” further during the visit.

The prime minister is scheduled to leave Vienna on Tuesday evening and return Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

Apart from the foreign minister, the minister for science and technology will accompany the prime minister during her visit.

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