Dhaka cool towards security coop with Washington

We are more interested in the development and improving the standard of living of citizens: Momen
Dhaka, Mar 2 – Bangladesh has conveyed to the United States that it is giving much focus on infrastructure development for the overall economic growth of the country and showed no interest towards security aspects of the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).“We’re now busy with our development (plan). Our main target is infrastructure development and giving a better life to our people,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, conveying the message given to Washington.
He said an official from the White House approached him and said they think of the security of the Bay of Bengal (region). “We said we don’t think of it. We’re pretty secure. Rather, we’re interested in economic development and infrastructure development.”
The Foreign Minister said the White House official talked about having a stronger programme on the security of the Indo-Pacific.
Dr Momen said they first have to provide food, shelter, clothing and housing to people of the country as Bangladesh wants to give its people a decent living. “All countries are our friends. We’re more concerned about providing food security and better living.”
The Foreign Minister addressed the US Chamber of Commerce and met Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and three US lawmakers namely Senator Edward J. Markey (Democratic, Massachusetts), Congressman Michael T. McCaul (Republican-Austin) and Congressman Jim McGovern (Democratic, Massachusetts’ 2nd Congressional District) during his official visit to the USA.
The visit was part of the plan to reach out to the new US Administration to further enhance the bilateral relations and to convey Bangladesh’s willingness to work closely with the new US Administration.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen and the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a telephone conversation during the visit and expressed their willingness to further deepen Bangladesh-US relations by advancing common goals and mutual interests.
The Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State agreed to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and enhance cooperation on global issues.
At the beginning of the discussion, the US Secretary of State expressed his regret that he could not physically meet Foreign Minister Dr Momen due to the COVID-19 health restrictions and termed Bangladesh-US relations as a ‘growing and deep’ one. – UNB