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Dhaka Tribune

US Under Secretary Nuland due Saturday to deepen ties with Bangladesh

Nuland is set to meet with civil society and business leaders to strengthen economic partnerships among other ties

Update : 18 Mar 2022, 09:06 PM

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, the third-ranked official at the US Department of State, is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on Saturday as part of her tri-nation visit to South Asia. 

"Looking forward to visiting Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka where our partnerships are vital to strengthening peace, prosperity, and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region," she said ahead of the visit.

During her March 19-23 visit with an interagency delegation, Nuland will underscore US commitment to, and cooperation with, Indo-Pacific partners, according to the US Department of State.  

Under Secretary Nuland will hold "partnership dialogues" in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and foreign office consultations in New Delhi. 

The Eighth Partnership Dialogue between Bangladesh and the US is scheduled to take place Sunday.

At each stop, Under Secretary Nuland and the delegation will meet with civil society and business leaders to strengthen economic partnerships and deepen ties in the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Other senior members of the delegation include Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Amanda Dory.

The United States sees the upcoming "partnership dialogue" with Bangladesh as an opportunity to expand the "robust relationship" between the two countries, according to an official post at the US Embassy in Dhaka. 

Both sides emphasize the multi-faceted nature of the relationship cannot be undermined by any single issue.

The entire gamut of relations between the two countries -security cooperation, trade, labour rights, investment opportunities, human rights, governance, global threats including climate change, regional issues including a free and open Indo-Pacific region are all expected to fall within the ambit of the dialogue. 

"In the dialogue, we will discuss opportunities to expand a robust relationship, ways we can further enhance close ties on a range of areas of cooperation," said the US Embassy official in Dhaka on Tuesday.

While briefing a small group of journalists, he said Bangladesh-US ties go beyond the government-to-government sphere, with the people-to-people contacts and commercial relationships remaining active and growing. 

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will lead the Bangladesh delegation in the Partnership Dialogue. 

In this 50th year of diplomatic relations, Washington seeks to "deepen a strong and multi-faceted relationship" built on mutual respect and shared interests with Bangladesh, said the diplomat.

During this visit, Under Secretary Nuland, whose rank makes her the third-most senior official at the State Department, will have the opportunity to make people-to-people and business connections.

"We have a long history of cooperation between our two countries," said the official at the US Embassy. 

The United States has been a consistent partner in the success stories of Bangladesh, and this dialogue, and others that follow this year, will demonstrate their willingness to remain so in the future.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the relations between Bangladesh and the United States have many factors and determinants and the relations will be enhanced and deepened through a number of dialogues, visits back-and-forth, and track-2 engagements in the coming months.

"To this end, we are aiming at fostering a closer understanding with the US,” he said recently, adding that Bangladesh fully intends to “enhance and deepen” its ties with the US.

Meanwhile, a rung or two above the dialogue, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen is scheduled to have an in-person bilateral meeting with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Washington on April 4. 

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