Peter D’Hass, the new US ambassador to Dhaka, said the ban on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) was a matter of strong security cooperation between the United States and Bangladeshi law enforcement. The ban on RAB will not be an obstacle to this cooperation. However, it is not possible to lift the ban on RAB without taking clear steps to ensure accountability. RAB must respect basic human rights. The United States wants to see the force work in the same way that the RAB is fighting terrorism.
Besides, in the context of the upcoming national elections in Bangladesh, he said, I want to make one thing clear. The United States will not take any side in the next elections in Bangladesh. In general, the United States expects the people of the country to participate in elections in a democratic process and elect the next leader of their choice.
He was speaking at a seminar organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Sunday afternoon.
Peter de Haas said the United States’ policy is to develop democratic processes and values around the world. At present, the United States is emphasizing democracy and human rights in its relations. This is especially true of the United States itself, which is responsible for ensuring the accountability of the police and ensuring the voting rights of all US citizens. Bangladesh and the United States can work together to protect democracy and human rights. This field of work can be more solid and wide. Bangladesh’s importance in the world is increasing day by day for its economic development and geopolitical position. He also hoped that the cooperation and partnership between Bangladesh and the United States would continue.
He added that the United States will continue to work for the advancement of a free and open Indo-Pacific region and for the development of bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister at the same seminar. AK Abdul Momen welcomed the foreign observers in the forthcoming parliamentary elections and said that any country can observe the next national elections if it wants to.
Roxana Kibria, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, presented the keynote address at the seminar titled ‘Bangladesh-US Relations: Enhancing Cooperation and Moving Towards Partnership’. Former Election Commissioner retired Brigadier General Dr. also took part in the discussion. M Sakhawat Hossain, former Ambassador Humayun Kabir and Tariq A. Karim. BIISS Chairman Kazi Imtiaz Hossain presided over the function. BIISS Director General Major General Mohammad gave a welcome speech. Maksudur Rahman.
Foreign Minister. Momen said the United States is a very important partner in Bangladesh’s development. Relations with the United States are expanding in a number of ways. He also hoped that this cooperation would go further. Both Bangladesh and the United States support democratic values. Any country can observe the election if it wants, no problem.
He said he would like to get GSP facility for Bangladeshi products in the US market. For this reason, I will implement what the United States has to do to improve the quality of labor.
Referring to the Indo-Pacific region as an important initiative in the region, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh and the United States will continue to work together to establish peace in the region and create a conducive environment for all countries.
Foreign Minister Dr. Momen thanked President Biden’s administration for supporting the UN General Assembly resolution on the human security of Myanmar’s Muslims and other minorities and for recognizing the genocide against the Rohingya.
Taking part in the discussion, former Ambassador Tariq A. Karim said Bangladesh is now one of the fastest growing economies not only in South Asia but also in the world. At present, economically, the relations between Bangladesh and the United States are getting better. In addition, the two countries have many more areas to work together.
Former Ambassador Humayun Kabir said Bangladesh has always wanted and is maintaining bilateral relations with the United States. And the United States also wants to add more to bilateral relations with Bangladesh. Even then, the two countries are interdependent on various issues, including political, economic, climate crisis and counter-terrorism.
Former Election Commissioner Sakhawat Hossain said military cooperation between Bangladesh and the United States has made a significant contribution to disaster response and peacekeeping forces. Several military exercises have been held between the two countries, including the maritime border.