Bangladesh’s priority is development, not defence equipment: foreign minister | The Daily Star
10:17 PM, March 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:20 PM, March 02, 2021

Bangladesh’s priority is development, not defence equipment: foreign minister

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Bangladesh wants to work with the United States on "security issue of the Indo-Pacific" but purchasing expensive defence equipment is not the country's priority.

"Bangladesh's priority is development. Bangladesh will welcome anyone who comes forward for infrastructure development and investment (in Bangladesh)," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted the minister as saying.

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The foreign minister said providing food, clothing, housing, education and health security are among priority areas of the government.

He said Bangladesh will welcome US' investment in the Indo-Pacific region as it wants the Bay of Bengal to remain open to all.

The foreign minister recently visited the US as part of its plan to reach out to the new US administration to further enhance bilateral relations and convey Bangladesh's willingness to work closely with the Biden administration.

Dr Momen and 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.

They agreed to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and enhance cooperation on global issues.

In the beginning of the discussion, 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 a 'growing and deep' one.

Dr Momen 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.

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