Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iran, Uganda set for oil refinery talks


KAMPALA, Uganda, April 20 (UPI) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected Friday in Uganda to discuss building an oil refinery in the energy-rich African nation.

Ahmadinejad is to meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni during a two-day state visit. His visit comes as Washington ramps up economic pressure on Iran as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.

Iran, for its part, has lobbied Uganda to use its influence as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to counteract the pressure from Washington.

Ahmadinejad during Museveni's visit to Tehran in 2009 promised to build an oil refinery in the oil-rich African nation. Uganda has significant petroleum reserves in its Lake Albert region.

Representatives in the Ugandan Foreign Ministry told the Ugandan newspaper the Daily Monitor that the official agenda for Ahmadinejad's visit would be announced later in the week.

A spokesman for Museveni said he wasn't certain the oil refinery would be included in the bilateral talks Friday.

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