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Dhaka-Washington holding 8th ‘Partnership Dialogue’

Bangladesh and the United States are holding the 8th “Partnership Dialogue” in the city as the two countries intend to have “closer understanding” and broader relations removing gaps.

This is the first such bilateral meeting after the sanctions imposed by the US on individuals and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), reports UNB.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen is leading the Bangladesh delegation while Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, the third-ranked official at the US Department of State, is leading the US side at the dialogue that began at State guesthouse Padma on Sunday morning.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Masud Momen and Under Secretary Nuland had tete-a-tete at the same venue before the formal beginning of the dialogue.

Bangladesh will raise the sanctions issue at the dialogue as it believes that the sanctions are “unjustifiable, and were imposed based on fabricated and politically motivated inputs” given by the same vested quarters.

After the sanctions were imposed on December 10 last year, Bangladesh immediately expressed its deep discontent, summoning the US ambassador in Dhaka.

The Foreign Secretary recently said the relations between Bangladesh and the US have many factors and determinants and will be deepened and broadened through several dialogues, exchange of visits and track-2 engagements in the coming months.

“We have several dialogues, exchange of visits and track-2 engagements in coming months to garner closer understanding with the US,” he said, adding that Bangladesh has all good intentions to “enhance and deepen” the ties.

Nuland, who will meet Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen after the partnership dialogue, is in Dhaka as part of her tri-nation visit to South Asia as she will be visiting India and Sri Lanka  where she sees US’ partnerships are vital to strengthening peace, prosperity, and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Under Secretary Nuland 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.

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.