Washington, D.C: The United States has said it will continue to work hand in hand with Bangladesh on Rohingya issue not only through aid but through sustained support for the voluntary, dignified and safe return of Rohingya to their homes in Myanmar.
“Our cooperation in responding to the Rohingya crisis is the fruit of a strong bilateral relationship that we seek to enhance even further,” US Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Ms. Heather Nauert said.
Speaking at the Independence Day reception at Bangladesh Embassy Wednesday, Nauert said the close bonds between Bangladesh and the United States have never been more essential—and Bangladesh’s leadership more vital—than during this tragic humanitarian crisis.
Nauert who made her maiden overseas visit to Bangladesh last November as the State Department’s Spokesperson said she was deeply moved by her visit to Cox’s Bazar and to see Bangladeshi people opening their doors and their hearts to the Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar.
“Bangladesh has the profound gratitude of the American people for all that you have done and continue to do to provide comfort to those in such great need,” she said.Earlier, Nauert placed wreath at the bust of Bangabandhu installed in chancery premises.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin also spoke at the reception. Diplomats from foreign missions, officials of different departments of the US government, politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, high civil and military officials, senior journalists and leading members of the Bangladesh community attended the reception at Bangabandhu Auditorium in the evening.
Nauert praised Bangladesh’s “extraordinary” social and economic progress and said U.S. exporters are well positioned to help take Bangladesh’s economy to the next level, by delivering the highest quality goods and service in the world.
She said U.S. security forces also partner closely to ensure regional maritime security, defeat terrorists and strengthen UN peacekeeping.The US official said as Bangladeshi peacekeepers promote peace and freedom throughout the globe, they follow in the courageous example of the Founding Father of Bangladesh.
Referencing her visit to Bangabandhu museum, she said in his celebrated speech on March 7, 1971 Bangabandhu said “whether Bengali or non-Bengali, Hindu or Muslim, all are brothers, and it is our responsibility to ensure their safety.”
Nauert said “Let us honor his (Bangabandhu’s) wisdom and spirit and strive together for a peaceful, prosperous Bangladesh where all are considered brothers and sisters and guaranteed their rights, no matter their class, creed, politics or birthplace.”
Ambassador Ziauddin said Bangladesh and the USA have continued to further strengthening the existing relations with the support of the new government. He said the US accorded Bangladesh phenomenal political and humanitarian support, a reflection of this has been the US administration’s in the case of the 7,00,000 Rohingyas who fled ethnic cleansing to cross over to Bangladesh.
The Ambassador said currently, both the countries work together on a host of areas of common interests, bilateral and multilateral. He mentioned partnership dialogue, security dialogue, military dialogue and TICFA council of meeting.
“…Expectations now prevail for meaningful interaction of political leadership including at the highest level,” he said.
The Ambassador said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s personal experience and strong stand for secularism has made her determined to exterminate the menace of terrorism from Bangladesh and to restore the country to its age old secular and inclusive social fabric.
He said Bangladesh continues efforts to bring back the war criminals living abroad, particularly the convicted killers of the Father of the Nation. Bangladesh believes that concerned countries harboring them would support its efforts of returning the criminals to Bangladesh to face justice.
Artists from Bangladeshi community presented patriotic songs and dance at the reception. A celebration cake was cut on the occasion.