Bangladesh has said the US government should restore the GSP facility and duty-free access of its products to the American market, particularly the RMG, to strengthen Bangladesh’s ongoing fight against extremism, reports UNB.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Mohammad Ziauddin conveyed it to US Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) on Tuesday when they discussed a wide range of issues, including restoration of GSP for Bangladesh.
The other issues that came up during one-hour meeting include present government’s efforts for empowering women, combating terrorism and religious extremism and Dhaka-Washington cooperation in various fields, according to a message received here on Wednesday.
The envoy said that Bangladesh-US bilateral relations are based on mutual respect and trust and both share same values and objectives.
Congressman Gerry Connolly, who is the Ranking Member of the subcommittee on Government Operations and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, and democracy promotion abroad in the House.
The Ambassador informed that Bangladesh and the US meet regularly under partnership dialogue, security dialogue, military to military dialogue and Ticfa.
He said delegates from both the countries will meet on Friday for the 4th security dialogue in Washington.
While discussing the present government’s ongoing crackdown on extremists, the Ambassador said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is herself a victim to terrorist acts.
In 1975, Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is the father of the present Prime Minister, was brutally killed along with 18 members of his family.
Having such sore past, the Prime Minister is personally committed to uprooting extremism and terrorism from the soil of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working closely with the United States and neighbours to eliminate extremism and terrorism within its borders and beyond.
Ambassador Ziauddin informed that Bangladesh strongly condemns the killings and terrorist acts perpetrated by the ISIL and stands beside the US to counter all forms of violent extremism across the world.
He said the present government put high priority on education and women empowerment.
In this connection, he mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who represents the voice of women in South Asia and the only Muslim woman leader among the OIC member countries, has relentlessly been working on education and women empowerment in Bangladesh.
He said that 90 percent of the four million workers in the RMG industry are women.
Congressman Connolly recalled that during the war of independence in 1971 he was a college student and fully aware of the sacrifices made by the people of Bangladesh and supported the legitimate cause of struggle for independence.
Connolly said he is also well aware of the environmental challenges being faced by Bangladesh and appreciated the people for continued endurance against the natural disasters like storm, flood and cyclone.
Connolly, who serves as vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, expressed his sincere willingness to stand beside Bangladesh for restoration of the GSP, and thanked the Ambassador for briefing him on Bangladesh. Counselor Political Nayem Uddin Ahmed of the embassy accompanied the Ambassador.