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Dhaka Tribune

US sec of state likely to visit Dhaka in June

Update : 22 Apr 2013, 03:42 AM

The US secretary of state John Kerry is likely to visit Dhaka during his India tour scheduled for June.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni invited her US counterpart last month to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time.

Md Shahidul Haque, foreign secretary, handed over the invitation when he visited Washington DC in March for a meeting with the Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary for political affairs, his counterpart in the US state department.

“Sherman hinted that [Kerry] might visit Bangladesh in June, as he will be in the region at that time,” a Bangladesh diplomat said.

Dhaka and Washington are likely to discuss a range of bilateral issues during Kerry’s visit, he said.

Partnership will be the overarching concern, with Bangladesh keen to table trade cooperation, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) fund eligibility, and climate change, while US might be interested in security cooperation, regional connectivity, counter-terrorism and labour standards, the diplomat added.

MCC, created by the US Congress in 2004, is an innovative and independent foreign aid agency that helps lead the fight against global poverty.

“If the visit does not take place by June, chances are slim that it will take place during the tenure of this government,” the diplomat said.

The current government’s tenure expires in January 2014.

The foreign ministry and the Bangladesh embassy in Washington are keeping a close watch on the issue, he added.

The foreign ministry official also said that Dhaka would get a clear picture about Kerry’s visit during Wendy Sherman’s scheduled tour to Dhaka in May.

The US undersecretary is due in Dhaka in May to attend the secretary level Partnership Dialogue, being held for the second time.

Coincidentally, Sherman came to Dhaka last April and the then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s visit followed in May.

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