We don’t see Bangladesh thru other countries’ lens: US official

Maxwell Martin, the political officer of the US embassy in Dhaka, speaks at a press briefing at the embassy on 25 April 2024.Prothom Alo

The bilateral relationship between the United States and Bangladesh is based on shared history, values, and future prospects, and is not influenced by the perspectives of other nations, including India, China, or Russia. 

Maxwell Martin, the political officer of the US embassy in Dhaka, came up with the clarification when he was addressing a press briefing at the embassy on the significance of Indo Pacific Strategy (IPS) for Bangladesh.

In response to a query, he said his country considers the relationship with Bangladesh from a bilateral point of view and doesn't see it through the lens of other countries. He also noted that they heard from media reports and in some other places that the US sees Bangladesh through the lens of India, but it is not true. 

Laying emphasis on shared interests, the US official expressed optimism that the two governments would be able to work together if the relationship is considered from the perspective of shared bilateral interests.  

When the US maintains a multidimensional relationship with Bangladesh, what more will the IPS add to the ties? Maxwell Martin, in response, mentioned Bangladesh's endorsement of the Armed Forces’ Forces Goal-2030 and said the US is extending assistance on this point in different ways. 

With the IPS under consideration, the US has been in efforts to advance the existing corporations, in addition to taking additional measures in terms of bilateral relations.   

When asked about countries that are creating hindrances in the Indian and Pacific seas, Maxwell Martin said some countries like China may create pressure on security and economic spheres in future. He likened the potential scenario to the situation between China and Taiwan and said they don’t expect such authoritarian behaviour in terms of the IPS. 

Explaining the IPS, Maxwell Martin said most of the world's trade takes place in this region, while economic developments are also happening centering this region. Hence the emphasis is being placed on the interests of the world's significant regions, free and open future, economy and prosperity.

Maxwell Martin mentioned Bangladesh as important for South Asia in terms of security. Arguing in favour of his statement, he said, "I am saying it from a positive point of view. All countries in the region are capable of ensuring their own security and can responsibly ensure the security of others.” 

He went on saying, “Since independence, we have seen Bangladesh's rapid growth in ability and contribution in the field of security in the region. Along with the ability to ensure its own security, Bangladesh has also progressed in helping others. We are proud to be a partner of Bangladesh.”