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Cablegate: Ambassador Meets with Civil Aviation Minister

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS DHAKA 002988

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PGOV BG
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER


1. On June 23, Ambassador Thomas met with Minister of Civil
Aviation Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin. He was accompanied by
EconOff as notetaker. They discussed Bangladesh's commitment
to aviation security and compliance with the Chicago
Convention; and progress in BDG's purchase of four Boeing
777s.

2. The Minister affirmed BDG's commitment to security in
Bangladesh airports and in Biman's operations. The Minister
presented the latest FAA evaluation document that gave a
"satisfactory" rating on BDG's compliance with the Chicago
Convention and FAA requirements. He stated that BDG's Civil
Aviation Authority and Biman Bangladesh is in compliance with
international and U.S. standards. He reiterated his
commitment to security and to the war against terrorism.

3. Minister Nasiruddin said that Biman is committed to
improving its fleet. The deal to purchase four Boeing 777
jets for long-haul and six Airbuses for shorter routes is in
the final stages, with the contract under review in the
Purchase Committee. He said that he expects to meet with the
finance minister soon to discuss issuance of sovereign
guarantee. Ambassador welcomed the progress on the purchase
agreement. On the issue of financing, he assured the
Minister that financing for such a deal is possible and that
EXIM Bank and Citigroup will work with the BDG on this. He
told the Minister that BDG will get the same financing deal
as Pakistan. He also encouraged the Minister to move forward
on becoming a signatory to the Capetown Protocol. He said
that BDG would be able to get even lower rates if and when
they sign the Capetown Protocol.

4. Ambassador Thomas emphasized that it is essential that
BDG continue to remain vigilant regarding FAA regulations to
prevent terrorism and eliminate safety problems. The
Minister took the point.
THOMAS

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