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28 August, 2016 12:20:05 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 28 August, 2016 10:25:02 AM
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Dhaka, Washington share vision for tolerant Bangladesh: US

Kerry arrives tomorrow
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
Dhaka, Washington share vision for tolerant Bangladesh: US

In the lead-up to the maiden visit of the United States Secretary of State John Kerry tomorrow, Washington yesterday said it shares a vision for a democratic and tolerant country and laid emphasis on existence of viable political parties and freedom of speech. “We share a vision for a democratic, moderate, and tolerant Bangladesh that serves as a bridge for trade and commerce between South and Southeast Asia and an anchor for stability and prosperity in the Bay of Bengal region,” according to a fact sheet on Bangladesh-US relationship forwarded by the US embassy in Dhaka.
“We believe the existence of viable political parties and ensuring freedom of media and speech are essential for Bangladesh to fulfill its true potential as a vibrant, secure democracy,” it says. “The United States and Bangladesh share a long history of cooperation.  Our strong bilateral relationship is bolstered by our shared efforts to confront global challenges such as violent extremism, climate change, health, and food security, says the fact sheet.
While it continues to face many challenges, Bangladesh has achieved two decades of extraordinary economic growth and made tremendous strides in reducing poverty and improving maternal and child health, it says.
“We are a proud partner in assisting Bangladesh’s steady progress toward middle income status,” it adds.
The fact sheet lauds Bangladesh’s different achievements including two decades of extraordinary growth approaching an average rate of nearly six percent annually, apparel manufacturing now accounts for nearly $25 billion in annual exports, top contribution to international peacekeeping, humanitarian operations throughout the region, extraordinary progress on health metrics, self-sufficiency in food production and reduction of poverty.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971 and it remains committed to supporting development in Bangladesh, it states. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Kerry will arrive tomorrow morning by a special flight on his maiden visit to Bangladesh and leave the capital in the evening, according to sources concerned. His packed schedule includes an official talk with his Bangladeshi counterpart Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they said.
Kerry is likely to have meetings with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad and representatives of the civil society. While in Bangladesh, Kerry will highlight the longstanding and broad US-Bangladesh relationship and focus on strengthening the longstanding bilateral partnership between the two countries on democracy, development, security and human rights, the US Department of State said on Wednesday in a press statement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to issue any news release on the visit of the US secretary of state.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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