Ambassador Haas aims to continue strengthening Bangladesh-US ties in 2023
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has said he is looking forward to continued strengthening of the Bangladesh-US partnership in the new year. "During my first year in your remarkable country, it's been an honour to meet with members of civil society, government officials, artists, politicians of all parties, and our vital partners that work to continue to strengthen the ties between the United States and Bangladesh," he said Sunday in a message shared by the US Embassy in Dhaka on its verified Facebook page. Read: We remain better prepared in 2023: Shahriar Alam "I am also thankful for the incredible hospitality and have enjoyed tasting new culinary flavours from Briyani to Mishti-Doi," the ambassador said. "On behalf of the US embassy community, wishing everyone a peaceful, prosperous, and happy new year!" he added.
We set the stage for next 50 years of ties: US Ambassador after meeting PM Hasina
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has said his country “looks forward to growing its defense cooperation” with Bangladesh in addition to deepening ties between the two countries on key fronts. “I’m excited about the possibilities for collaboration on the economy, development, public health, security, and climate change,” he said after his meeting today (September 13, 2022) with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. They discussed Bangladesh’s successes and the two countries’ strong bilateral partnership over the past 50 years. Read: 81,000 textbooks, funded by Japan, handed over at Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp “We set the stage for our nations’ next 50 years of ties,” said the US Embassy quoting Ambassador Haas. The Ambassador and the Prime Minister discussed 50 years of partnership between the United States and Bangladesh and ways the countries can deepen this partnership. “We discussed our cooperation on a range of topics, including economic development, security, climate change, Rohingya refugee assistance, and COVID-19,” Ambassador Haas said. He acknowledged Bangladesh’s remarkable economic progress, its leadership in climate change, its generosity in sheltering Rohingya refugees, and its tremendous contribution to global peacekeeping operations. Ambassador Haas reaffirmed the United States’ continued support of Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. Read: “Bangladesh suffering from greenhouse gas impact caused by the developed world” “During our meeting, I told the Prime Minister that I think one of our proudest joint achievements was in how we worked together to respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ambassador Haas. “I commend Bangladesh’s effort to vaccinate over 70 percent of its entire population” he added. The United States has donated nearly 88 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, contributed over $140 million in COVID-19 related development and humanitarian assistance, and collaborated closely with Bangladesh to distribute this assistance throughout the country.
Bangladesh won’t face Sri Lanka-like crisis: Ambassador Haas
The United States does not see any Sri Lanka-like situation in Bangladesh, noting that Bangladesh is a country which has done “extremely well” in terms of debt management with careful borrowing and strong foreign currency reserve. “Basically Bangladesh is not Sri Lanka,” said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas, mentioning fundamentally there are different sets of challenges. He also mentioned that Bangladesh has taken a small amount of loan from China. The ambassador, however, said it does not mean that Bangladesh economy does not face challenges - with inflation and growing food prices. He was responding to questions at “DCAB Talk” organized by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at Jatiya Press Club. Read: US stands by Bangladesh as a steadfast dev partner: Ambassador Haas “Just think for a moment about how far Bangladesh has come since its war for independence--from a newborn country devastated by conflict to a thriving country with one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” Haas said. National Elections Responding to a question, the envoy said he has been speaking about the importance of having free, fair and transparent elections here in Bangladesh where the people have the right and the ability to freely elect their leaders. He, however, said it is up to Bangladesh to decide how it is going to create those conditions required for a free election. The envoy said freedom of press, no violence and the role of Election Commission are some of the important factors to ensure a fair election. This is the job of the Bangladesh government, Bangladeshi people, media and (Bangladesh's) civil society to ensure free and fair election, he added. IPEF & Bangladesh Responding to a question, Haas said there will be opportunities for other countries to join in the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). There have been consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March regarding the IPEF and the ambassador hoped that Bangladesh will follow it closely. Read: PM offers Fateha at the mazar of Bangabandhu in Tungipara President Biden launched the IPEF with a dozen initial partners: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Together, they represent 40% of world GDP. Regarding sanctions imposed on the elite force Rab, the US envoy said President Biden has made it clear that human rights and protection of human rights are central to the US foreign policy. And the sanctions imposed against the Rab and some of the officials were result of that, he said. Haas said the US wants accountability for the Rab and avoid potential human rights abuses and efforts to make sure that those abuses do not happen again in the future. It is not really the question of providing the list of things that must be accomplished "So, it's not really a question of providing a list of things that must be accomplished. It's not about specifics but the underlying principles: commitment to human rights and commitment to accountability in the cases of human rights violations,” he said. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus moderated the programme while its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin delivered welcome remarks.