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Dhaka Tribune

FM: Bangladesh's growing economy entices US to maintain good relations

Bangladesh and US share same values and Dhaka welcomes constructive suggestions, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen says

Update : 17 Jan 2023, 11:28 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said the United States wants to maintain good relations with Bangladesh and noted that Bangladesh is "becoming a big economy". 

Momen said US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu came to Bangladesh to "help improve the relationship" between the two countries. 

"We had a very good discussion. We had a very positive and constructive discussion. They are very happy with us. We are also very happy," he told reporters, adding that President Biden wants to improve relations with Bangladesh in the next 50 years. 

Momen said they are also happy with Ambassador Peter Haas because he is an expert on economic issues. "We are on a higher economic trajectory. Our main focus is on economic development. He (Peter) can help us." 

Responding to a question on RAB, he said the elite force is now more mature and things have changed with accountability in place. 

Momen said Bangladesh is a leader in the world in terms of stopping extremists and terrorists. "We are very successful. There are no terrorism activities." 

He said Bangladesh and the US follow the same values and Bangladesh welcomes any constructive suggestion. 

US Embassy spokesperson Jeff Ridenour on Tuesday said Assistant Secretary Lu praised the Bangladesh government for the "dramatic reduction" last year in the number of allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by the RAB. 

During his meetings in Dhaka, Assistant Secretary Lu, however, did not indicate a time frame for the removal of RAB sanctions, he said. 

Momen said both sides acknowledged the weaknesses during the discussions. 

"We, Americans, have our own problems with democracy, but I am proud that our two countries can talk about these issues openly. We will also welcome support for improving our democracy," Lu said.

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