US eyes better relations with Bangladesh

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

The United States under-secretary for political affairs Thomas Shannon has underscored the necessity of strengthening the bilateral relations to a new height with Bangladesh, saying his government considers Bangladesh as an important partner.
He made the remark when state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam met with him, according to a message received here from Washington on Saturday.
Shahriar congratulated Shannon on officially assuming the charge of the office of the under-secretary of state.
The state minister was the first visitor to meet Shannon in his new capacity.
Shannon thanked the state minister and said his maiden visit to Bangladesh in December, 2015 was very important and fruitful.
He termed it a great way to start his visit to South Asia.
During the discussion that lasted for about 45 minutes, Shannon said Bangladesh maintained its broad commitment to democracy, which is one of the core values of the US government.
The state minister thanked him for choosing Bangladesh as his first destination in South Asia.
He said Bangladesh and America enjoyed excellent bilateral relations and it was high time to take it to a higher level.
He mentioned about the existing bilateral cooperation in security, trade, counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing.
Both of them also discussed other issues of common concerns including the global threat of the Islamic State, climate change, recent attacks on foreigners and bloggers in Bangladesh.
The state minister briefed the under-secretary about various initiatives of prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to counter these radical forces.
He reassured him of Hasina’s ‘zero tolerance’ stance against all sorts of terrorism and violent extremism.
Both Shahriar and Shannon underscored the necessity of a close cooperation in different sectors to generate positive perception among the peoples of the two countries and to further cementing the existing friendly relations.
Earlier, the state minister held a meeting with assistant secretary of state Nisha Desai Biswal and discussed various issues of common concerns.
Terming the two countries close partners, she also emphasised on enhanced engagements between Dhaka and Washington in the coming days.
The state minister also met with Peter Lavoy, senior director for South Asian Affairs of the US National Security Council at the White House.
He lauded Bangladesh’s achievements in various sectors, such as women empowerment, education and her commitment to international peace keeping and countering terrorism and violent extremism.
Bangladesh ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin was present during the meetings.

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