G20 Summit: AL upbeat about ties with US
The ruling Awami League camp is upbeat about its relations with the United States following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent India trip to attend the G20 summit.
The AL's top leadership believes the summit of the world's biggest economies played an important role in thawing the relations between the US and Bangladesh, and that Delhi's mediation might have helped ease the tension between the two countries.
On Saturday, after the opening ceremony, Hasina had an informal talk with US President Joe Biden on the sideline of the summit. During the talk, Biden himself took a selfie with the Bangladesh premier and her daughter Saima Wazed Putul while exchanging pleasantries.
The US sanction on RAB, its "pressure" to hold a free and fair election, and the introduction of a new US visa policy about those who would obstruct a fair election had caused "anxiety" among the AL activists.
However, since several images of Biden, Hasina, and Putul in one frame were posted on social media, a sense of relief has prevailed among the party's rank and files, said party sources.
Activists of AL and its associate organisations have been sharing images of Hasina's informal talks with Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Talking about the premier's India visit, Awami League Presidium Member Abdur Rahman said, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's participation in the G20 summit was an immense success for us. The way global leaders lauded her and expressed their interest to see continuous development of Bangladesh under her leadership only proves how successful she is in leading the country towards progress."
Hasina, also the AL president, held a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, within hours of landing in Delhi. The AL leadership considers the meeting to be highly significant.
"In the last three terms, India supported the Awami League government. This time Delhi has given Dhaka a platform to forge relations with important and economically prosperous countries of the world, including the United States, just three months before the polls," a joint general secretary of the AL told this newspaper, wishing anonymity.
Commenting on the matter, Professor Delwar Hossain of Dhaka University's International Relations said, "Before the elections, the prime minister's participation as an honoured guest in the G20 Summit, her meetings with the heads of the world's influential countries, the recent visit of the Russian foreign minister and France's President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Bangladesh -- all these undoubtedly contribute to creating a favourable environment for the Awami League government."
All these have created a stronger position for the prime minister to face any global pressure regarding the election issue, he noted.
"Superpowers have increased activities regarding Bangladesh due to the country's geopolitical importance. Despite the US pressure on the government, bilateral relations between the two countries remain dynamic. Therefore, the government should keep this momentum till the next elections," he added.