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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Momen-Blinken to talk Monday marking 50-year bilateral ties

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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will hold a bilateral meeting with his US counterpart Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in Washington on Monday, the day of the 50th anniversary of establishing the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“(During the talk) we will discuss how we (Bangladesh-US) would further enhance our bilateral relations in the next 50 years,” Dr Momen told media before leaving here for Washington DC last evening, BSS reports.

The half century of bilateral ties with Washinton after Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation amid a critical US stake leads it towards a revitalized relation in a different geo-political reality as the two countries chalked out series of engagement this year.

Dr Momen is going to meet his US counterpart first time since Washington imposed sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and some its current and former officials alleging violation of human rights on 10th December last.

Along with wide range of bilateral issues, the foreign minister said he would urge the US to reconsider the sanction. “We’ll raise it (sanction issue),” he said.

He hoped that there should be a positive response from the US side regarding the sanction as the RAB is efficient, effective in general free from corruption.

The foreign minister said democracy is prevailing in Bangladesh while the country has made tremors economic prosperity on last more than a decade.

“But our success stories were not echoed properly in the outer world sometimes, we will tell our success stories in the meeting,” he said.

Dr Momen said he would also raise the issue of handing over Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who is now in the US, to Bangladesh for ensuring rule of law and justice.

Bangladesh is a peace-loving nation and for that Dhaka is less interested in defence procurement from the US, he said.

The foreign minister said Dhaka is examining the draft on the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), handed over by the US during the last partnership dialogue.

Washington wanted Dhaka to sign two defence agreements– General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and the Acquisition Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA)– which is the gateway to being able to do more on the security front between the two countries.

“Bangladesh wants to engage with USA in economic cooperation, food security, blue economy, renewable energy and technology transfer which are related to welfare of the people,” he said, adding that Dhaka is willing to diversify trade with Washington while Bangladesh would invite US investments in special economic zones and hi-tech parks in the country.

The foreign minister said he will also discuss regarding US support in commencing early repatriation of displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

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