Quad is an informal, essential, multilateral mechanism, says US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price
The United States has taken note of Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming's recent remarks over "Quad" saying that the US respects Bangladesh’s right to make foreign policy decisions for itself.
"What we would say is that we respect Bangladesh’s sovereignty, and we respect Bangladesh’s right to make foreign policy decisions for itself," Spokesperson at the US Department of State Ned Price said in a regular briefing on Tuesday.
Price said they have an incredibly strong relationship with Bangladesh and work closely with their partners there on a range of issues — from economic growth to climate change to humanitarian issues.
"And when it comes to the Quad, we have said this before, but the Quad, it’s an informal, essential, multilateral mechanism that right now convenes likeminded democracies — the United States, India, Australia, and Japan — to coordinate in the Indo-Pacific, and fundamentally, to push forward our goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific region," said the spokesperson.
Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming on Wednesday met Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and explained his remarks made during the DCAB discussions.
The meeting was held after a vaccine handover ceremony at state guesthouse Padma.
They discussed different bilateral issues, including Covid-19 cooperation, between the two countries, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB.
They highlighted the importance of the growing relationship between the two countries.
On Monday, the ambassador attended a program hosted by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) and talked about a number of issues, including vaccine cooperation.
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The envoy, while responding to a question, also talked about Quad, an initiative of four countries — the United States, Japan, India and Australia — that was followed by a reaction by Dhaka.
Ambassador Li said it will obviously not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four countries because it will "substantially damage" the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
“So, we do not like to see any form of participation by Bangladesh in this small group of countries,” said the envoy.