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Bangladesh to focus on trade, uplift in partnership dialogue

  • Published at 10:41 pm June 16th, 2016
  • Last updated at 01:32 am June 17th, 2016

Bangladesh and the United States will sit for a high level political consultation to cement ties between the two countries and discuss issues of security, trade and investment, and development. Bangladesh side will focus on development, and trade and investment while for the US side, security would be top agenda, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and US Ambassador to Dhaka Marcia Bernicat said. The foreign secretary said Bangladesh considers security from broad perspective and it is related to development of the people. Security can be discussed from counter-terrorism, countering violent extremism, peacekeeping and peace-building and from other aspects but for Bangladesh, security for development of the people is the most important things. The fifth partnership dialogue will be held in Washington on June 23-24 where Shahidul Haque would lead the Bangladeshi side and the US side would be led by US State Department Undersecretary Thomas A Shannon. US Ambassador to Dhaka in an interaction with a selected group of journalists Thursday said: “Security is at the top of agenda of the partnership dialogue.” Terrorism is a global phenomenon and both the countries have to stand together to fight the menace. “If we don’t, terrorists will win. From day one, Bangladesh and the US are working together to fight transnational crimes,” she said. Bangladesh and the US have robust security cooperation aimed at fighting terrorism, violent extremism, money laundering, and terror financing, the ambassador said. “A new area of cooperation is cyber security,” she said. The ambassador said human rights, mass arrests and other issues related to rule of law and governance would be discussed at the partnership dialogue. “The number of arrests is impressive. Our concern is that are these arrests [are] being done in a transparent manner. In the United States, there are rules about how deaths during such operations have been investigated and, when wrongdoing is found, what corrective actions were taken as is done in the United States,” she said. People should have confidence in the investigation process and Bangladesh should be getting the credit if transparency and proper investigations are ensured, she added. About the security of the US officials in Bangladesh, she said: “We want to make our security as robust as possible and contract with Bangladeshi security firms. We comply completely with the local law to protect US officials.” About regional cooperation to fight the terrorism, she said: “We are considering what type of mechanism will work for regional cooperation.” Bangladesh, India, and the US – all three of us are fighting terrorism, but there is no common mechanism, she said. “We will continue to look for ways to have regional cooperation.” The ambassador said health, education, climate change, migration, environment and other relevant issues would also be discussed in the dialogue.