Dhaka a close, reliable partner: US

Trade, security, counterterrorism get priority in dialogue

05 Nov 2017, 18:04

Online Desk

Dhaka: US Under Secretary Thomas A Shannon on Sunday said his country counts Bangladesh as a 'close and reliable' partner in its endeavours towards free trade, sustainable development, the rule of law and universal values of democracy and human rights.

"We're grateful to be able to count Bangladesh as a close and reliable partner," he said after the sixth Partnership Dialogue between the two countries in the city.

Shannon said they 'devoted special attention' to trade and prosperity agenda, security in the Indian Ocean region, combating transnational terrorist groups, their approach to North Korea's 'dangerous and provocative' conduct and the Rohingya crisis.

"This annual dialogue is an important opportunity to discuss our cooperation on global and regional matters of concern to both of our countries," he told a joint briefing at State Guesthouse Padma.

He said this dialogue demonstrates that the United States and Bangladesh collaborate on many important issues and share a long history of cooperation and a vision for a tolerant, democratic Bangladesh that serves as a bridge for commerce between South and Southeast Asia.

"Bangladeshis an anchor for stability and prosperity in the region, and we appreciate the government's commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region," Shannon said.

Just last month, he said, US Secretary of State Rex W Tillerson delivered a major policy speech on this topic, and many of their conversations in the partnership dialogue centered on those same principles and ideals he outlined for the Indian Ocean region, such as responsible growth and counterterrorism cooperation.

Earlier in the working group discussion of the dialogue, both sides discussed issues related to trade and investment, security cooperation, development and governance, and forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in detail.

Bangladesh side proposed to the US side three MoUs related to agriculture, education and exchanges between Foreign Service Academy or Institute of the two countries.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration Simon Henshaw participated along with US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat and senior officials of the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to working more closely to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

The 7th Partnership Dialogue will take place in Washington DC next year.