US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu has appreciated the “tremendous progress” made by Rab in “respecting human rights” while performing its duties.
Lu said they had a good discussion on Rab, and he referred to the recent statement issued by the Human Rights Watch that recognised “tremendous progress” in reducing extrajudicial killings, UNB reports.
“We recognise this. This is an amazing work. It shows that Rab is able to carry out its counterterrorism efforts and important functions while respecting human rights,” he said.
The senior US official made the remarks while briefing reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen also spoke on the occasion.
“We had a very honest and open discussion,” Lu said.
Regarding labour rights issue, he said this is an important issue for Bangladesh, for trade relationship.
“I had the honour of sitting down this morning with Salman F Raman to talk about the way forward, so that we can cooperate on improvement of labour rights in this country. I’m very confident we’re going to make progress this year,” he said.
Asked whether the US wants Bangladesh to join the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Lu said they had a frank discussion on it.
“It is not a club, and it is a matter of joining or not joining,” he said.
Regarding restoration of GSP (generalised system of preferences) facilities for Bangladesh, the US official said they are still waiting for the Congress to authorise it for the countries.
“We are working very closely with the government of Bangladesh,” Lu said, adding that Bangladesh will be the first country on the list if the Congress authorises.