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US Under Secretary Victoria Nuland in Dhaka

US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday (March 19) afternoon as part of her tri-nation visit to South Asia.

She landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:10pm. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen welcomed her at the airport.

On Friday, the US State Department’s website said with an interagency delegation, Victoria Nuland will underscore U.S. commitment to, and cooperation with, Indo-Pacific partners during her March 19-23 visit to Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.

Under Secretary Nuland will hold ‘Partnership Dialogues’ in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi.

The ‘8th Partnership Dialogue’ between Bangladesh and the US will take place in Dhaka on Sunday (March 20).

On each stop, Under Secretary Nuland and the delegation will meet with civil society and business leaders to strengthen economic partnerships and deepen ties in the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Other senior members of the delegation include Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Amanda Dory.

The United States sees the upcoming ‘Partnership Dialogue’ with Bangladesh as an opportunity to expand the ‘robust relationship’ between the two countries, according to an official posted at the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Both sides emphasise the multi-faceted nature of the relationship cannot be underrmined by any single issue.

The entire gamut of relations between the two countries–security cooperation, trade, labour rights, investment opportunities, human rights, governance, global threats including climate change, regional issues including a free and open Indo-Pacific region are all expected to fall within the ambit of the dialogue.

“In the dialogue we will discuss opportunities to expand a robust relationship, ways we can further enhance close ties on a range of areas of cooperation,” said the US Embassy official in Dhaka on Tuesday.

While briefing a small group of journalists, he said Bangladesh-US ties go beyond the government-to-government sphere, with the people to-people contacts and commercial relationships remaining active and growing.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will lead the Bangladesh delegation in the 8th Partnership Dialogue.

In this fiftieth year of diplomatic relations, Washington seeks to “deepen a strong and multi-faceted relationship” built on mutual respect and shared interests with Bangladesh, said Under Secretary Nuland.

During this visit, Nuland, whose rank makes her the third-most senior official at the State Department, will have the opportunity to make people-to-people and business connections.

“We have a long history of cooperation between our two countries,” said the official at the US Embassy.

The United States has been a consistent partner in the success stories of Bangladesh, and this dialogue, and others that follow this year, will demonstrate their willingness to remain so in the future.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the relations between Bangladesh and the United States have many factors and determinants and the relations will be enhanced and deepened through a number of dialogues, visits back-and-forth, and track-2 engagements in the coming months.

“To this end, we are aiming at fostering a closer understanding with the US,” he said recently, adding that Bangladesh fully intends to “enhance and deepen” its ties with the US.

Meanwhile, a rung or two above the dialogue, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting (in-person) with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Washington on April 4.