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Biden wants to build good relations with Bangladesh: Momen

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held talks in a very cordial and warm atmosphere, reflecting the bilateral relations between the countries are deep-rooted.

“He (Biden) has all the intention to build a good relationship with Bangladesh,” he said on Saturday while briefing reporters here over the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s engagements in New Delhi, reports UNB.

The Bangladesh premier arrived here on Friday to attend the G-20 Leaders’ Summit at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. She addressed two sessions of the summit, had talks with US President Joe Biden and had meetings with several leaders on the sideline of the summit.

Hasina, who is returning home today, had bilateral meetings with Indian PM Narendra Modi, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Argentine President Alberto Angel Fernandez, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Replying to a question, Momen said, “It (talks among Biden, Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Rehana and Saima Wazed in two separate occasions including in dinner in a very cordial environment) is the evident that we have a deep and solid relations with Washington and we will make it stronger in future.”

He said the USA is very keen to further consolidate the relationship with Bangladesh and for which they are sending their people and holding talks for it. “They (the American government) are not exerting any pressure on us rather the media do so,” he said.

The foreign minister said Joe Biden, Sheikh Hasina, her daughter Saima Wazed had a 15-minute talk at Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition Centre in Pragati Maidan in the Indian capital on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.

“When our Prime Minister was talking to President Biden, he was seen very happy and fully enthusiastic and discussion happened in a very cordial and warm atmosphere. It (the discussion) was around 15 minutes and so,” he said.

He said when Bangladesh Premier and her daughter Saima Wazed were talking to Joe Biden, PM’s Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin took out his cellphone to take a picture of that moment. “President Biden took his own cell phone and took a selfie,” he added.

During the talks the Bangladesh PM apprised the US President about the measures she has taken to give the people of Bangladesh a beautiful and improved life, Momen said.

“Bangladesh is my family as I have lost my father, mother and brothers as they were brutally killed on August 15 in 1975. I am doing everything possible for their welfare,” the PM was quoted as saying.

Hasina said she has taken an initiative to give every homeless and landless a house at government expenses as part of the move to ensure that none will remain homeless in Bangladesh.

The US President said he knew her efforts taken for Bangladesh’s overall development and praised Hasina’s leadership for it, said Momen.

The premier invited the US president to visit Bangladesh at his convenient time and Biden accepted the invitation, he said.

About chats with Hasina’s daughter and autism expert Saima Wazed with Biden, the foreign minister said Saima told the US president that she has been working with autism and had worked in Florida.

The US president has shown his interest in Saima’s work and wanted to know about the types of her work, Momen said, adding that Saima then gave her business card to Biden.

Biden invited Saima Wazed to visit the USA.

Momen said the US President had also cordial chats with PM Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana in presence of Indian premier Modi.

At that time, Sheikh Hasina had praised Biden for his speech in the G20 Summit, he said.

Replying to another question, the foreign Minister said Sheikh Hasina had cordial talks with other global leaders that included Japanese and Italian prime ministers, German chancellor and Egyptian president.

“The people of Bangladesh should be proud of Sheikh Hasina,” he continued.

He said it would be very sad if any question arises regarding the talks between Biden and Hasina.

Asked if any political subject was discussed between prime ministers of Bangladesh and India, Momen said, “When we were there, there was no political talk.”

But, the prime ministers mentioned that elections will be held both in India and Bangladesh next year, said Momen.