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Thursday, November 27, 2014, Agrahayan 13, 1421, Safar 3, 1436 Hijr


Biswal in Dhaka, meeting with Khaleda Friday evening
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-11-27,  Publish Time : 20:09,  View Count : 18
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal arrived in Dhaka on Thursday on a three-day visit.

During the visit, she will have meetings with high-level government officials and labour, RMG sector and business community leaders, and opposition party leaders.

Biswal will also meet BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence at 6pm Friday.

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP chairperson's advisers Riaz Rahman and Sabihuddin Ahmed and BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury will also be present at the meeting, he said.

This is Biswal’s second visit to Bangladesh as she had been here soon after taking over as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on October 21, 2013.

In addition to her activities in Dhaka, Biswal will travel to Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) in Gazipur before leaving Dhaka on Saturday, according the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Before her arrival here, Biswal attended the 18th Saarc Summit that ended earlier in the day (Thursday) in Kathmandu, Nepal.

In February, Biswal termed the January-5 election as ‘deeply flawed’ one and said this could have serious ramifications for stability in Bangladesh and the region as the election did not credibly express the will of Bangladeshi people.

“I want to state very clearly that our interest in holding new elections is to ensure a free and fair process,” she said in her opening remark at a fresh hearing to examine the ‘prospects for democratic reconciliation and workers’ rights in Bangladesh held at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington in February.

Biswal said the United States has not taken sides or played favourites in who should lead the country and mentioned that decision should be left to the Bangladesh people, whose voices were not fairly heard on January 5.

Nisha Biswal was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on October 21, 2013.

As Assistant Secretary, she oversees US foreign policy with India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.

Prior to her appointment, she served from September 2010 as Assistant Administrator for Asia at USAID, where she oversaw $1.2 billion in assistance to 22 countries from Central Asia to the Pacific Islands and managed a bureau and overseas staff of over 1200 development professionals.

UNB/ZA






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