Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (R) and US deputy secretary of state Stephen E Biegun attends a joint briefing at State guesthouse Padma, Dhaka on 15 October 2020
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (R) and US deputy secretary of state Stephen E Biegun attends a joint briefing at State guesthouse Padma, Dhaka on 15 October 2020UNB

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh is gaining more attention of the US and other countries of the global due to its robust economic growth, stability and geopolitical position, reports news agency UNB.

“The good news is that Bangladesh is getting more attention due to economic growth, stability and geopolitical location. We’ll have more solid relations achieving more goals,” he said.

Momen said this at a joint briefing with US deputy secretary of state Stephen E Biegun at State guesthouse Padma in the capital after their meeting.

Biegun said the US sees Bangladesh as one of the key partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Responding to a question, the US secretary of state said the US will continue to support to find a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis.

He said that this requires a regional and global response as it is not the lone responsibility of Bangladesh. “This is a global priority.”

This visit shows the relationship between Bangladesh and the US is becoming more and more solid. This will continue to improve. I have no doubt about it. We hope to achieve many goals
AK Abdul Momen, Foreign minister

The US deputy secretary of state laid emphasis on working together to find a solution to Rohingya crisis.

Momen said Bangladesh sought US investment in the infrastructure sector, raised students visa issues and repatriation of Bangabandhu’s killer Rashed Chowdhury and sought support in blue economy and climate issues.

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“Self-confessed killer Rashed is residing in the USA. The US shouldn’t be the home for murderers,” the foreign minister said adding that the US attorney general is looking into the issue.

Momen said the US did not discuss issues related to Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).

He ruled out a notion that US sees Bangladesh through the eyes of India and mentioned that the US sees Bangladesh as an independent country.

“This visit shows the relationship between Bangladesh and the US is becoming more and more solid. This will continue to improve. I have no doubt about it. We hope to achieve many goals,” said the foreign minister.

Tributes to Bangabandhu

Earlier in the morning, the US deputy secretary of state paid tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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He visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 and placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu.

The visiting US deputy secretary of state signed visitors’ book kept there after paying homage to Bangabandhu.

“The United States is proud to be a partner, and a friend, as it prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding, and celebrates 100 years since the birth of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We look forward to the next 50 years and beyond towards a strong, independent and prosperous Bangladesh that would make Bangabandhu proud,” he wrote.

He was received, and given a tour of the museum, by the curator of Bangabandbu Memorial Museum, NI Khan.

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The US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller and special assistant to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, barrister Shah Ali Farhad were also present.

The US deputy secretary arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday to discuss Bangladesh-US cooperation on COVID-19 response, recovery efforts and sustainable economic development.

He held a bilateral meeting with state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam at a city hotel on Wednesday evening followed by dinner.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen, M Shahidul Islam and US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller, among others, attended the meeting.

Biegun met prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Gonobhaban on Thursday afternoon.

He is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh with the aim to strengthen ties between the two countries and is scheduled to leave on Friday morning.