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US lawmakers keen to further strengthen Washington-Dhaka ties

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 20 May, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

US Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) and Congressman Steve Chabot (Republican-Ohio) have expressed their willingness to facilitate further strengthening Washington-Dhaka relations.

They said this while meeting with a four-member delegation from the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh National Parliament led by its Chairman Muhammad Faruk Khan, MP.

Other members of the team were Nurul Islam Nahid, MP; Nahim Razzak, MP; and Kazi Nabil Ahmed, MP. The meetings took place on Wednesday (18 May) at the respective offices of the Senator and the Congressman at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States M Shahidul Islam and Embassy officials were present in the meetings.

During the meetings, the parliamentary delegation briefed the US lawmakers on Bangladesh’s impressive socio-economic development that has taken place under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The delegation highlighted Bangladesh’s sustained economic growth, efficient COVID-19 management, and measures to improve democratic governance, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC on Thursday.

The Bangladeshi lawmakers acknowledged US humanitarian and political support to cope with more than 1 million displaced Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh, and requested the US lawmakers to persuade Myanmar in all possible ways to create a safe environment in Rakhine State to ensure a safe and voluntary return to their homeland in Myanmar.

The US lawmakers commended Bangladesh’s generosity in hosting this huge number of Rohingyas and said that they would continue their efforts to address the Rohingya issue.

The Bangladesh delegation also appreciated the US government’s donation of 64 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh.

The Parliamentary delegation conveyed the urge of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for enhanced US investment in diversified sectors in business-friendly Bangladesh.         Referring to the attainment of 100% electricity coverage in Bangladesh, Mr. Faruk Khan appreciated the role of Texas-based US energy companies for their contribution in this regard.

Both sides underscored the importance of further expansion of trade and investment cooperation and deepening of the multifaceted partnership in the coming days. Senator Ted Cruz, a member of the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, stressed enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries. In this regard, he mentioned that the United States, in particular the State of Texas, was eager to engage more with Bangladesh for cooperation in the energy sector.

The delegation reiterated Bangladesh’s request for the deportation of Rashed Chowdhury, the self-confessed killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. They also sought the US lawmakers’ support for lifting US sanctions on the RAB, which is making tremendous contributions to the fight against extremism, terrorism, and cross-border crimes, including drugs and human trafficking.

The parliamentary team sought the support of Congressman Chabot to revitalise the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus. Congressman Steve Chabot, the Ranking Member of the influential US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, expressed his readiness to lead the proposed caucus as Co-Chair of the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus. He said the Caucus would help in improving further the existing friendly relationship between Bangladesh and the United States.

The Parliamentary delegation is also scheduled to meet tomorrow with Congressman Dwight Evans (Democrat-Pennsylvania) and discuss issues of mutual interest between Bangladesh and the United States.