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Anticipating comprehensive US-Bangladesh diplomatic relations

Published : Sunday, 18 October, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 420

Anticipating comprehensive US-Bangladesh diplomatic relations

Anticipating comprehensive US-Bangladesh diplomatic relations

The recent visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Beigun has ignited hope for further strengthening the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and US. He called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and held talks with Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Momen.

We hope that this visit will bring enhanced economic benefits to us in terms of greater US investments and better opportunities for export of Bangladeshi goods to the US market. We are also hopeful that the US will help in the ongoing humanitarian crisis of Rohingya refugees that Bangladesh has been confronting for long 3 years. We believe that sincere and integrated involvement of world powers including the US can surely solve the crisis.

The diplomatic relation analysts say that US's new interest in Bangladesh for stronger ties stems from our sustained economic growth and political stability over the last decade. The Deputy Secretary lauded Bangladesh's sustained growth, geostrategic location, skilled labour and a growing big consumer class. He assured of more US investments here. Stephen Beigun has mentioned about the growing interest of US companies and investors in various sectors in Bangladesh including trade, agro industries, IT, pharmaceuticals, energy and Covid-19 vaccine cooperation. Reciprocating to Bangladesh's stand on Rohingya issue he said that the US has been trying to influence Myanmar regarding the repatriation and restoration of the rights of the Rohingyas.  He commented that all countries should work together to resolve the crisis.

We wholeheartedly welcome Beigun's  reassurance. However, one worrying issue is the growing tension between US-China and India-China relations. Point to be noted is that Bangladesh has good relation with all these countries.  Stephen Beigun's visit also coincides with the US's advancing into Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and he has specifically mentioned about the Indo-China tension over the Line of Control in Galwan Valley. He also pointed out the tensions over other countries in the region. The US Deputy Secretary of State said that Bangladesh is an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region and that it will be a  focal point of US's work in the region.

We must emphasise here that Bangladesh does not want to be drawn into any conflict as we believe in Bangabandhu's foreign policy ideology "friendship to all, malice to none". By any means, we do not want to be in the middle of any geopolitical spat. We always like to continue harmonious relationship with all the countries.

In a world that is still fighting with the devastating human and economic costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope that all countries will refrain from creating political tensions which will only do more harm than good to the global community. Lastly, a conscience call is needed to end all the geopolitical spat that can spiral into destructive conflicts. We need to identify our real enemies like covid-19 and climate change and collectively fight them.

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