President Museveni returns home today at the conclusion of a three-day state visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The President held bilateral talks with Iran leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Saturday and later addressed Iran’s chamber of commerce, industries and mines.
A press statement from the President’s Office, issued yesterday said, “The two Presidents re-affirmed their commitment to strengthen relations between the two countries in line with the mutual interests and expanding co-operation in the fields of agriculture especially agro-processing, investment, energy, mining, industry, vocational training, air transport and foreign relations.”
Mr Museveni flew out of the country on Friday shortly after meeting the Kenyan press over a row with Uganda’s eastern neighbour contesting ownership of the Migingo Island and arrived in Tehran on the same day. Gen. Aronda Nyakirima, the Chief of Defence Forces, also travelled to Iran and his presence indicates there was discussion on military cooperation between the two countries.
There was also strong indication that the two leaders discussed prospects of exploiting Uganda’s uranium resources, which Mr Museveni has often said would only be used for the generation of energy.
According to the statement, the two leaders “re-affirmed the right of developing countries to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
Uranium, majorly used for nuclear reactors and bombs, was first discovered in Uganda in 2004.
In 2007, Mr Museveni ordered the Ministry of Energy to halt any deals for exploration of uranium, a position he has maintained to date.
But because of Iran’s pursuit of uranium, the President’s visit thus becomes significant.
However, if Iranian companies are given a green light to develop exploitation of the mineral resource, such a development would be greeted by serious concern from Uganda’s western allies like the United States of America. Relations between Iran, the US and Europe are generally tense especially because of Iran’s development and pursuit of nuclear weapons.