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BD-US ties to deepen further with US officials' visit: FM

Published : Friday, 23 February, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 113

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said that the Bangladesh-US relations would further be deepened and widened with the visit of the US officials to Bangladesh.

He made the remarks when a journalist wanted to know about the upcoming visit of US Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Afreen Akhter.

Afreen is likely to be in Dhaka on Saturday - to take relations with Bangladesh forward.

The foreign minister also said the letter sent by US President Joe Biden to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is important to take forward the relations between the two countries.

"Their officials visit to Bangladesh (in the coming days) would make the relations deeper and wider," he said.
This is going to be the first visit by any US official after the January 7 national election.

Apart from bilateral issues and other areas of mutual interests, including economic growth and development, the Rohingya issue may also come up for discussion, according to a diplomatic source.

Afreen visited Bangladesh before the national election.

She is likely to meet senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At a media briefing on February 14, she said, "We have a tremendous amount of work ongoing developing free media in Bangladesh, working with civil society, working with labor organizers across the spectrum to build up these institutions of democracy that will enable Bangladesh to become more democratic over the longer term."

Afreen visited Dhaka and Coxs Bazar in October 16-17 last year and met with senior government officials, civil society members, Rohingya refugees, and representatives from humanitarian organisations.

While in Bangladesh, she had "productive" meetings with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and other senior officials from the Government of Bangladesh.

She spent a day in Coxs Bazar, meeting with Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh government officials, and humanitarian organizations.

In addition, the delegation focused on learning about the lives of the refugees as well as the condition in the camps.

Recently, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, has said the current situation in Myanmar does not seem to be getting better and he sees deeper security problems for Bangladesh and beyond.

"The situation there doesn appear to be getting better. What worries me is that the refugee crisis, the security problems creating for Bangladesh, and potentially for India as well could get deeper in the coming days," he said.    —UNB







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