15 May 2024, 20:31
Update : 16 May 2024, 12:36

Lu came with very positive note: Hasan

DHAKA, May 15, 2024 (BSS) – Foreign
Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said US
Assistant Secretary of State for South and
Central Asia Donald Lu is visiting Bangladesh
with a “positive note” to deepen Dhaka-
Washington ties.

“He (Lu) came with a very positive note... His
visit here is to strengthen ties with
Bangladesh,” he told reporters after holding a
meeting with Lu at the foreign ministry here.

The foreign minister said they talked in a very
cordial atmosphere and discussed advancing
the multifaceted Bangladesh-US ties.

“We didn’t talk about our election or human
rights issues . . . both of us didn’t want to
revisit our past ... We want to look at the
future,” Hasan said while replying a question.

He said the US assistant secretary assured
him that Washington would return the GSP
facilities to Bangladeshi products when they
reintroduced the programme to help Dhaka to
expand its export basket.

However, the foreign minister said, Lu
suggested reviewing Bangladesh's labour
policy in this regards.

Hasan said he urged the US to invest in
Bangladesh’s 40 IT villages and special
economic zones.    

The foreign minister said Lu also expressed
Washington’s keen interest in assisting
Bangladesh in strengthening its reserve and
financial sector.

Hasan said they also discussed the US
cooperation in modernizing the Bangladesh’s
taxation system.

Bangladesh foreign minister demanded the
US return Rashed Chowdhury, the convicted
and self-declared killer of Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who
is now residing in the US.

In reply, Lu said, though the issue of Rashed
Chowdhury has been dealt by the independent
US justice department, the US state
department will assist Bangladesh mission in
Washington to get positive outcomes in this

The foreign minister said they discussed the
withdrawal of sanctions on some individuals
of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

“The US visa policy (for Bangladeshi citizens)
is dormant now, so we didn’t discuss that
issue,” he said while replying to a question.

The foreign minister said he also urged the US
to put it's efforts to establish peace in Gaza.
In reply, Lu said, US secretary of state Antony
Blinken is working tirelessly to make a
ceasefire in Gaza and he is optimistic about
realizing that.

During the meeting, the US assistant secretary
of state also assured Bangladesh of
Washington's support for compacting with
adverse effects of the climate change.

Earlier, after the meeting at a separate
briefing to media, Donald Lu said, “The US
has been trying to rebuild trust with Dhaka
after an episode of “tension” centering
Bangladesh’s January 7 general elections.”
“I visited Bangladesh last two days in order to
try to rebuild the trust between our peoples.

The United States worked very hard to
promote free, fair and nonviolent elections
here, and it causes some tensions. This is
common in our relationship,” he said.

He added: “Last year, we know there were a
lot of tensions between the United States and
Bangladesh. . . (but, now) we want to look
forward not look back; we want to find ways to
strengthen our relationship.”


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