Thursday, April 6th, 2023

FM to leave for US on Friday with trade, investment on agenda

Published 11:02 pm | April 06, 2023

dainik somoy sangbad

Online Desk : Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting in the USA on April 10 to discuss ways to advance Dhaka-Washington relations on key fronts.

Momen is scheduled to leave for New York on Friday evening from where he will travel to Washington. He will be visiting the US at the invitation of the US Secretary of State, said an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports UNB.

In his meeting with Blinken, Bangladesh will seek efforts to enhance relations on trade and investment fronts.

They will also focus on the ongoing cooperation to deal with the climate crisis, meet the needs of Rohingyas, their safe return to Myanmar and promote regional security through UN peacekeeping operations.

On April 4 last year, Secretary Blinken met with Momen to celebrate and reflect on the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh-US relations.

Blinken and Momen discussed the tremendous economic potential of the relationship and reflected on the ways the two countries have collaborated over the last half century – including growing people-to-people ties with vibrant Fulbright exchange.

Blinken reaffirmed the importance of protecting human rights, the rule of law, and freedom of religion as the basis for safe and prosperous democratic societies.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Momen said, “I’d say we’re lucky. Because the American Secretary of State doesn’t give invitations frequently, we got three in a row. America is paying much attention to our journey on the highway of development.”

Momen said the US is the only country which provided huge vaccines for free of cost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said America is such a generous country that helped Bangladesh manage Covid-19 in a very efficient way.

“They even supported us the most after the Rohingya influx. Other countries have helped us as well. I’ll express gratitude when I meet him,” Momen said.

When asked what will be discussed in the meeting with the US secretary of state, Momen said that the Rohingya and bilateral trade issues will come up.

Replying to a question about the US concern regarding democracy in Bangladesh, the foreign minister said, “We fought for democracy. Three million people gave their lives to uphold democracy and human rights. Therefore, we don’t need lessons on democracy,” he said.

“We want a fair election. America also wants a fair election. We don’t disagree with that. We have already made necessary institutional arrangements to ensure a free and fair election,” the minister said.

The foreign minister is scheduled to return home on April 13.

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