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  • APRIL 20, 2024

PM Hasina writes back to US President Biden


  • National
  • Staff Correspondent
  • Published: 26 Feb 2024, 10:48 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has written back to US President Joe Biden as Dhaka-Washington relations turn a new page despite pre-election unease.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said he gave a copy of the letter to Eileen Laubacher, special assistant to the president and senior director for South Asia, US National Security Council (NSC), on Sunday when she called on him.

Bangladesh Ambassador to US Muhammad Imran will hand the original letter to the White House.

US-Bangladesh relations have been widely discussed because of Washington’s interest in the January 7 general election. After the election, the US in a statement said it had not found the polling to be free and fair, triggering speculations that ties could deteriorate.

But a letter from President Joe Biden to Prime Minister Hasina changed the course of discussion.

Biden expressed his willingness to work with the prime minister to achieve Bangladesh's economic goals.

He also expressed willingness to partner with Bangladesh on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The United States is committed to supporting Bangladesh's ambitious economic goals and partnering with Bangladesh on our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biden said in the letter, which the US embassy in Dhaka shared with the foreign ministry on February 4.

As the two countries embark on the next chapter in their relations, the US president also conveyed the sincere desire of his administration to continue their work on regional and global security, economic development, climate change and energy, global health, humanitarian support, especially for Rohingya refugees, and more.

After meeting with Biden’s special representative, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said the US was a “major development partner” of Bangladesh.

“There was a detailed discussion on how to deepen this relationship, starting a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries,” he said.

Increasing bilateral trade and investment, security cooperation, development of the labour environment, and cooperation of USAID in combating climate change also came up during the meeting. 

Visiting USAID Asia Bureau Assistant Administrator Michael Schiffer and State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Afreen Akhter were also present.

After the meeting, the US embassy in a media note said the United States “supports a prosperous, secure, and democratic Bangladesh. We discussed with the foreign minister how our two countries can work on mutual interests, including economic development, security, refugees, climate, labour and trade.”

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