Better economic and diplomatic relations with the US is welcome | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:56 AM, October 17, 2020


Better economic and diplomatic relations with the US is welcome

But we don’t want to be in the middle of any geopolitical spat

We welcome the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Beigun's  visit that reinforces strong ties between Bangladesh and the US and  greater cooperation between the two countries. We hope that this visit  will bring enhanced economic benefits to us in terms of greater US  investments and better opportunities for export of Bangladeshi goods to  the US market. There is also hope that the US will help in the ongoing  Rohingya crisis that Bangladesh has been unfairly burdened with and the  solution to which necessitates international involvement.

According  to foreign relations analysts US's new interest in Bangladesh for  stronger ties stems from the latter's sustained growth and stability  over the last decade and its geopolitical location.

In  fact Stephen Beigun has mentioned the growing interest of US companies  in various areas including trade, investment, agr-oprocessing  industries, IT, pharmaceuticals, energy and Covid-19 vaccine  cooperation. He also said that the US has been trying to influence  Myanmar regarding the treatment and restoration of the rights of the  Rohingyas and commented that all countries should work together to end  this crisis.

This  is of course reassuring news for Bangladesh. What is a bit worrying  though is the increasing tensions between the US and China and India and  China. Stephen Beigun's visit also coincides with the US's advancing  into Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and he has specifically mentioned,  during this visit, Indo-China tension over the Line of Control in Galwan  Valley as well as alluded to tensions (no doubt between US and China)  over other countries in the region. The US Deputy Secretary of State has  said that Bangladesh is a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region and  that it will be "the centrepiece" of our (US's) work in the region.

We  must emphasise here that Bangladesh does not want to be drawn into US's  policy regarding China or any conflict between India and China as we  are interested in having the best of relations with both India and China  as well as the US, amity that we would like to continue to maintain as  part of our traditional "friendship to all, malice to none" foreign  policy advocated by Bangabandhu. In a world that is still reeling with  the devastating human and economic costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, we  hope that all countries will refrain from escalating political tensions  that will only do more harm than good to the global community. The world  is far too interconnected and collectively vulnerable to enemies like  Covid-19 and climate change to afford geopolitical spats that can spiral  into destructive conflicts.

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