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Sheikh Hasina writes to Joe Biden as Dhaka-Washington ties begin a new chapter


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has responded to US President Joe Biden's letter, as Dhaka-Washington relations turn a new page despite pre-election unease.

Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the foreign minister of Bangladesh, presented Eileen Laubacher, special assistant to the president and senior director for South Asia at the US National Security Council (NSC), with a copy of the letter when she visited him on Sunday.

Muhammad Imran, ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States, will deliver the original letter to the White House.

The topic of relations between the United States and Bangladesh has garnered considerable attention due to Washington's involvement in the general election on January 7. Following the election, the United States' statement that it did not find the polling to be free and fair sparked rumours that relations could deteriorate.

However, President Joe Biden's letter to Prime Minister Hasina altered the conversation's tenor.

Biden conveyed his readiness to collaborate with the prime minister to achieve Bangladesh's economic objectives.

He also conveyed his willingness to collaborate with Bangladesh in pursuing their mutual goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Biden wrote in the letter, which the US embassy in Dhaka forwarded to the foreign ministry on February 4, "The United States is committed to supporting Bangladesh's ambitious economic goals and collaborating with Bangladesh on our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific."

The US president also expressed his administration's sincere desire to continue working on regional and global securityeconomic development, climate change and energy, global health, humanitarian assistance, particularly for Rohingya refugees, and other issues as the two nations enter a new phase in their bilateral relations.

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud described the United States as a "major development partner" on Sunday, following a meeting with Biden's special representative.

He stated, "A comprehensive dialogue ensued regarding strategies to foster a stronger bond between the two nations, ushering in an unprecedented phase in their bilateral relations."

The meeting also addressed advancing labour environment development, bolstering bilateral trade and investment, USAID's collaboration in addressing climate change, and security cooperation. 

Following the meeting, the United States embassy stated in a press release that it "supports a democratic, secure, and prosperous Bangladesh." 

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