Iran president to visit Uganda

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The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit UN Security Council member Uganda this week for talks over its nuclear programme and Kampala’s oil industry, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“He’s coming for a two-day visit where we will be discussing bilateral relations,” said James Mugume, the permanent secretary of Uganda’s foreign ministry.

The Iranian leader is scheduled to arrive in Kampala on Friday.
“Obviously as a member of the Security Council we are going to discuss the issue of nuclear energy,” Mugume told AFP.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said last Sunday that Tehran planned to open talks with all 15 Security Council members in an effort to break a deadlock on a nuclear fuel supply deal that has put it at odds with Western powers.

Uganda currently holds one of the rotating Security Council seats.

Mugume added that Ahmadinejad and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will hold talks specifically on the issue of potential UN sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme.
“Of course it will come up. We’ve been engaging Iran on this issue for some time,” he said.

The two leaders will also discuss development of Uganda’s oil industry.

Uganda’s northwest Lake Albert region is believed to hold at least two billion barrels of oil. Museveni visited Tehran last year to discuss the feasibility of building an oil refinery in Uganda.

Museveni has consistently said he wants to refine Uganda’s oil locally, and the country is currently looking for partners with technical expertise.

Sources: www.africanews.com and AFP