In reply to a question, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said, “The United States does not see Bangladesh through the eyes of Delhi.” If it was the fact, the US deputy secretary would not visit Bangladesh
- Bangladesh's GDP, geopolitical position draws US attention
- US keen to strengthen cooperation in energy sector
- Its support for Rohingya repatriation to continue
- Cooperation in sending back Rashed Chowdhury assured
- US support sought for accessing Covid-19 vaccine
- Bangladesh not seen through the lanes of Delhi
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun has said the US considers Bangladesh as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Bangladesh's geostrategic location and continuous economic growth and stability make it more attractive to the US," he said at a joint press briefing made by Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the state guesthouse Padma after their meeting on Thursday morning.
Although the issues related to Indo-Pacific Strategy were not discussed in the meeting, the foreign minister said Biegun told him the impression of Bangladesh in the US has positively increased many folds.
The numbers of reasons behind it are Bangladesh's economic growth, geopolitical location and stability over the last so many years that has contributed to stable governance and democracy, Momen added.
He mentioned that they had a discussion on trade, investment, public health cooperation, agriculture, blue economy, climate change, ICT and energy cooperation.
"I specifically proposed the USA for investment in infrastructure development. The US representative said they would further discuss the issue," he added.
In reply to a question, the minister said, "The United States does not see Bangladesh through the eyes of Delhi." If it was the fact, the US deputy secretary would not visit Bangladesh.
After the meeting with foreign minister, Stephen Beigun paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganabhaban residence Thursday afternoon.
The US deputy secretary of state, said: "The US government will closely work with Bangladesh for promoting economic and trade relations."
He said Bangladesh is attracting foreign investment in huge volume, mentioning that the United States wants to further strengthen the cooperation with Bangladesh in the energy sector.
The prime minister said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country to attract more investment from home and abroad as well as generate employment.
US assures cooperation in repatriating Bangabandhu's killer Rashed Chowdhury.
Bangladesh has several times raised the issue of bringing back Bangabandhu's convicted fugitive killer Rashed Chowdhury who is now hiding in the USA.
Stephen E Beigun in this regard said the case is being reviewed by the US attorney general office.
After meeting with Biegun, Momen said: "I have told him that we want to ensure the rule of law. Rashed is a killer and we want to ensure justice."
Earlier on Wednesday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam raised the issue of bringing back Bangabandhu's killer Rashed Chowdhury with the US Deputy Secretary of State and sought the US support. Beigun assured him of extending cooperation, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
PM urges US to help rehabilitate Rohingyas in Myanmar
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on immediate repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland and reiterated her call to the international community, including the United States, to help in their rehabilitation process.
"We want immediate repatriation of the Rohingyas, and the world community, including the United States, should help rehabilitate them in their homeland of Myanmar," she said.
"Some quarters could mislead them to be involved in anti-social activities. So, we need their immediate repatriation to their homeland."
The prime minister made the appeal when the US Deputy Secretary of State paid a courtesy call on her.
After the meeting, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
Stephen E Beigun said the United States wants a permanent solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis. "We'll continue to extend our support to Bangladesh on this issue," he said.
While meeting with Momen, Stephen Beigun said the US had been providing humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh for the Rohingyas, but it was not a sustainable solution.
However, the regional countries should work together to solve the crisis, he added.
FM raised the student's visa issues and stressed the resumption of visas for Bangladeshi students going for higher study in the US in the next Spring session.
Beigun said the visa services for Bangladeshi students will reopen after the easing of Covid-19 situation.
Bangladesh sought US support to access Covid-19 vaccine
Bangladesh sought the US support over accessing the potential Covid-19 vaccine.
"The US assured us of taking measures so the US vaccines could be made available in Bangladesh after successful production," State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam told reporters after holding a meeting with Beigun on Wednesday.
One the other hand, while discussing with the premier, Stephen Beigun said: "We're close to making the vaccines available and hope that they will be available in the markets soon."
He said several US companies are manufacturing the vaccines, while widespread vaccination will start from next year.
Meanwhile, at an event on Covid-19 and public health partnership at Kurmitola General Hospital in the capital on Thursday afternoon, Stephen E. Biegum said, Public health partnership between the two countries is becoming more credible during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh exported 6.5 million PPE during the pandemic. In the next few days, the United States will provide Bangladesh 100 ventilators to treat Covid-19 and other diseases. At this event, Stephen E Beigun handed over two gas analyzer machines to the health minister.
Earlier, Biegun paid homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi 32 early Thursday.
Biegun arrived here Wednesday afternoon on a two-day official visit.