United States (US) undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland has said there are economic, security and technological elements in Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).
As Bangladesh has an intention to join it, she said, the US will be happy if Bangladesh joins most of the areas of this initiative.
Nuland made the remark while talking to newspersons after the 8th partnership dialogue between the two countries.
The US has been placing the issue of joining of Bangladesh in the IPS at different discussions for the last couple of years.
The country placed the issue once again at the meeting at the state guest house Padma on Sunday.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, a senior official who attended the meeting, said Victoria Nuland disclosed her country's plan to create free and open Indo-Pacific region.
At the time, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen emphasised the economic element of IPS.
The US undersecretary said there would be economic structure in IPS, which will be announced soon.
The US is also putting emphasis on IPS in the context of relations between the two countries in the future.
When asked where the US wants to take the relations of the two countries, undersecretary Victoria Nuland said to newsmen, "We have discussed it. In perspective of Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), we are working with all stakeholders and alliance of this region. We think we can do many things in the areas of trade and commerce. Alongside technology, infrastructure and sustainable economy, we can do many things in the area of security including marine security."
I know, this matter (sanctions on RAB) is complex and difficult. We have discussed it. We have concerns over the activities of RAB, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. We have noticed progress in these areas for the last three months
As part of purchasing advanced arms from the USA, signing agreements of General Security of Military Agreement (GSMA) and Acquisition and Cross Services Agreement (ACSA) is being discussed for several years.
When asked about the progress of the matter, Nuland said Bangladesh is discussing with the US on two specialised defence agreements to purchase arms with modern technology.
She said, "GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) is the entrance for security cooperation. We have given a draft of the agreement. We have self-confidence we will be able to solve the issue through this. We will be able to do many things if it is done."
Bangladesh has strongly laid emphasis on the withdrawal of sanctions on RAB and its several current and former officials.
Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said Bangladesh has expressed deep concerns over the US sanctions on RAB.
Pressed on, Victoria Nuland said, "I know, this matter (sanctions on RAB) is complex and difficult. We have discussed it. We have concerns over the activities of RAB, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. We have noticed progress in these areas for the last three months."
The US undersecretary further said, "Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen has mentioned in the discussion what steps are being taken to resolve the issues. He said Bangladesh has zero tolerance towards the issues. He also said steps were being taken to ensure accountability and justice in connection with the matters. In this regard, Bangladesh government's plan of actions has been placed. We want to work on this with the Bangladesh government. Our cooperation in tackling terrorism is very important."
We have given them a non-paper. Activities of RAB and our recent steps have been stated there. They would take it to Washington and discuss it. We would continue discussion. Hopefully we would be able to solve the issue timely
In replying to a question, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said, "We have given them a non-paper. Activities of RAB and our recent steps have been stated there. They would take it to Washington and discuss it. We would continue discussion. Hopefully we would be able to solve the issue timely."
While discussing with newsmen, Masud Bin Momen further said, "We have placed our concerns over the sanctions on RAB during the discussion. We mentioned not only the impact of tackling violence and cross-border crimes but also steps taken by the government.
When asked how is it possible to deepen relation amid imposing sanctions, the US undersecretary said, "The US does not stay silent if the incident of human rights violation take place. When we notice the violation of human rights, we talk. We would talk over this in future. Our assistance for the law enforcing agencies and tackling terrorism will continue."
Masud Bin Momen mentioned common commitment of the two countries to democratic rule and human rights have been working as the fundamental basis of the partnership.
Victoria Nuland is also visiting India and Sri Lanka. One of the priorities of her visit to the three countries is to garnering support for Ukraine.
While speaking to newsmen on Sunday, she said, "A war is going on between autocratic and democratic forces. We know what sort of society we want to build. But Russia is showing a different way. Now it is time that all independent people of the world and states should express solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We are discussing it."
When asked how the US views the role of Bangladesh over Russia-Ukraine war, Victoria Nuland said, "You have close relation with Ukraine. There are many Bangladeshi professionals and students there. Bangladesh knows very well that invasion has been launched on a democratic and independent country without any provocation. We are trying to solve it diplomatically instead of involving in the war. So, all democratic countries have to be united. I believe all will be vocal in stopping war and establishing peace."