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World is looking to Bangladesh for the next election: Blinken

Democracy is in our blood, we also want free and fair elections: Momen tells during a meeting with Blinken

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the US and the rest of the world are looking to Bangladesh for exemplary free and fair polls in the next general election.

The US secretary of state came up with the statement during his meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen in Washington on Monday afternoon (US time), report UNB and

The two countries are celebrating 50 years of ties at a time when Bangladesh is preparing for the next parliamentary polls.

Blinken said the relationship between Bangladesh and the United States grew “tremendously” over the last 50 years economically.

He emphasised people-to-people ties as “we've been doing more recently on everything” from climate to health.

Blinken said the US also “deeply” appreciates Bangladesh's “remarkable” generosity in sheltering more than 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

 “We're committed to continuing to work together to find ways to strengthen and deepen the relationship to address economic development, human rights,” he said.

 “And of course we're looking to, the world is looking to Bangladesh, for next elections to make sure that they set a strong example of free and fair elections for the region and for the world.”

While briefing the media after the meeting, Minister Momen said Bangladesh, like the US, also wants a free, fair and model election.

“Democracy is in our blood. People gave blood to uphold democracy, justice and human dignity,” he said, seeking help from the US for a free and fair election.

Momen highlighted the independent election commission and measures taken for holding the election transparently.

He said Bangladesh welcomes US observers but not any partisan observers. “All opposition parties must come forward to help in holding a free and fair election. We are creating the environment for a free fair election.”

Momen said he handed over a letter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Secretary Blinken addressed to US President Joe Biden.

“We are proud of the partnership,” he said, adding that he is here to strengthen and solidify the relationship.

Momen has said Bangladesh wants to improve its ties with the United States with a stronger trade relationship in the next 50 years.

“Bangladesh has a multifaceted, dynamic and wide ranging relationship with the US. Over the last 50 years we have done very well. We look forward to the next 50 years,” he said.

Bangladesh raised the issue of Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is moving freely in the United States.

Momen hoped that US will not be a shelter for killers and will hand over killer Rashed to Bangladesh as Bangladesh wants to establish the rule of law in the country.

During the meeting, Bangladesh sought efforts to enhance relations on trade and investment fronts, reiterated its call for the return of the Bangabandhu’s killer and discussed issues of mutual interests.

The two sides also focused on their ongoing cooperation to deal with the climate crisis, meet the needs of Rohingyas, their safe return to Myanmar, and promote regional security through UN peacekeeping operations.

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