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UK junior minister Shahid Malik arrives PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 June 2008

The UK's junior minister for international development, Shahid Malik, arrived in Dhaka Wednesday on a two-day visit, reports bdnews24.com

Malik will discuss the political situation and development projects in Bangladesh, the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) said.

"The minister landed in Dhaka at around 8.30 am by an Emirates flight," DfID 's press officer in Bangladesh Aloysius Milon Khan told bdnews24.com.

Malik is the parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for International Development and responsible for his government's development work in South Asia.

The junior minister went straight to a meeting with finance and planning adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam, at his planning commission office, to discuss details of a UK-Bangladesh climate change summit, set to take place later this year in London.

The UK government will host the high-level meeting in September 2008, on behalf of the Bangladesh government to address the impact of climate change in Bangladesh and help lay the foundations for an ambitious climate pact at Copenhagen in 2009.

Malik is the fourth UK minister to visit Bangladesh within the last six months.

UK home minister Jacqui Smith, foreign affairs minister David Miliband and minister for international development Douglas Alexander had earlier visited Bangladesh.

"The UK firmly believes in the potential of Bangladesh and its people," DfID said in a statement Wednesday.

"That's why we continue to invest in this positive development partnership, which will grow further. Our ambition is to raise UK development spending in Bangladesh to $300 million a year by 2010-11," the statement quoted Shahid Malik as saying.

The junior minister will also talk about progress towards elections, due to be held in December, said DfID.

The UK is the largest bilateral grant donor to Bangladesh. Total development spending has totalled £480 million (Tk 6,400 crore) over the last 4 years.

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