But after more than one year, we notice Bangladesh is focusing more on sanctions. Some sort of apprehension is working. It should be kept in mind that it would be easier for sustainable relations if the issues of US concerns are viewed from the global perspective instead of local perspective

On the contrary, the US may place different issues including signing of Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), elections and democracy during the meeting. They may also point out their differences in opinions about the Digital Security Act (DSA) and proposed Data Protection Act.

About the issue of withdrawing the US sanctions on RAB, senior officials said Bangladesh placed the issue during the meeting with US National Security Council's senior director for South Asia Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher on 9 January.

Bangladesh's special force has been successful in tackling militancy and terrorism. There may be lapses in the operations of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). But sanctions like this discourage the activities of other forces and agencies. Moreover, it creates a crisis of the overall image of the country.

Although not directly on the part of Bangladesh, cooperation was sought from the US not to take such punitive measures from the Washington in the days to come.

Speaking to Prothom Alo foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said, "Some positive results have been garnered from different levels of discussions with the US and trips. We have a move to bring solutions in the areas we have problems. We will also place the issues this time."

"Besides, the issues of resuming GSP facilities of Bangladeshi products into the US market, increasing trade and commerce, working on labour issues together may come up for discussion. We will also place the unsettled issues including extradition of self-confessed killer of Bangabandhu and death row convict Rashed Chowdhury," the foreign secretary added.

In a recent letter to the mission chiefs, the foreign secretary gave directives to remain on high alert about the new sanctions. It was also mentioned in the letter that necessary steps have to be taken for prevention if there is any possibility of imposing sanctions.

About the possible issues of discussion with Donald Lu, the foreign secretary said, "Our duty is to resolve these issues (sanctions). So alongside the withdrawal of earlier sanctions, issues may be raised so that there are no new sanctions in future."

Bangladeshi diplomats are observing the visits of Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher and Donald Lu from the perspective of overall relations. There were some sorts of concerns about the impositions of new sanctions in the last year. However, there was no such situation. Bangladesh is trying to improve relations. Efforts are on to remove the differences of opinions and concerns of the US.

About the Dhaka-Washington relations, Bangladesh former ambassador to US and research organisation Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) president M Humayun Kabir on Friday said, "Relations with the US is multifarious. So instead of being stuck in one special area, it is expected to focus on multiple relations including good governance, security and strategic relations."

"But after more than one year, we notice Bangladesh is focusing more on sanctions. Some sort of apprehension is working. It should be kept in mind that it would be easier for sustainable relations if the issues of US concerns are viewed from the global perspective instead of local perspective," he added.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.