Diplomatic Correspondent: United States (US) Ambassador here Peter Hasshas said Bangladesh can count on the US partnership for decades to come to accomplish the shared goals between the two nations.
“Through its remarkable first five decades of independence, I like to thinkthat Bangladesh has found no better partner than the United States,” he said marking 50-year anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two democratic nations today.
“And we intend to build upon that partnership over the next 50 years,” headded.
Haas mentioned that the United States and people of Bangladesh want the same things: a vibrant, secure, and prosperous democracy, judicial account ability and basic human rights for everyone. “Our two countries are peers … Bangladesh can count on our partnership for decades to come to accomplish these shared goals,” the envoy said, addingth at Bangladesh’s transformation over the past 50 years has been stunning.
The ambassador recalled that the country emerged from the dark days of itsLiberation War as an independent, sovereign nation while its economy wasshattered, infrastructure destroyed, and countless of its best minds had beenmurdered.
He said many thought Bangladesh would never be able to thrive on its own andit would be forever dependent on the assistance of others.
“Those days are long gone. Today, Bangladesh is widely admired as a successstory,” Hass said.
He lauded drive, resourcefulness and innovation of the Bangladeshi people asthe country has made rapid improvements in health and literacy, achieved 100percent electrification and became one of the world’s fastest growingeconomies.
Indeed, he said, Bangladesh would soon graduate into middle-income status, aremarkable accomplishment.
Besides, the American envoy said, Bangladesh now lends a helping hand to itsneighbors as it stepped in to support Sri Lanka during its cash crisis andprovided COVID assistance to the Maldives.
“While development assistance is still important (for Bangladesh), oureconomic relationship is increasingly about trade, not aid,” he said, addingthat the US is Bangladesh’s largest export destination, and more and moreAmerican corporations now identify Bangladesh among their most importanttrade and investment partners.
Recalling the US assistance to Bangladesh after its Liberation War in 1971,Haas said, “Since we first clasped our hands in friendship on this date in1972, the United States has provided more than US$8 billion in developmentassistance.”
The US has partnered with the people of Bangladesh to save lives followingdeadly cyclones, combat terrorism and human trafficking and help people tolead healthier and more prosperous lives, he added.
Most recently, the ambassador said, the US provided more than 61 millionCOVID-19 vaccines to assist Bangladesh for its efforts to combat thispandemic.
“Bangladesh is the largest recipient of US-donated vaccines worldwide. That’swhat friends do,” he continued.
As the largest contributor of UN peacekeeping forces, he said Bangladeshplays a critical role in ensuring peace around the globe.
Besides, the envoy said Bangladesh, as one of the world’s most vulnerablenations to the effects of climate change, has emerged as a powerful voice inurging major emitting countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The US and Bangladesh have a common historical experience as both thecountries fought bloody wars for independence, united by a fervent belief indemocracy, and have learned that democracy is a process, not an end state, hesaid.
In the US, Haas mentioned that people have witnessed unspeakable acts ofviolence and racism while Americans are confronting these issues openly,honestly, and sometimes noisily in an effort to hold people accountable andto effect real change.
“Many in Bangladesh are doing the same, and we applaud their courage,” theambassador added.
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