Dhaka-US renews pledge to fight extremism | The Daily Star
11:36 AM, March 30, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:25 PM, March 30, 2016

Dhaka-US renews pledge to fight extremism

The United States said it will remain beside Bangladesh in the ongoing fight against violent extremism and terrorism, which threaten Bangladesh, the United States, and many other societies that cherish basic human freedom.

"The American people have long been with Bangladesh. And, today, I’m here to underscore that we’ll remain by your side," said Nisha Desai Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

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She was addressing a function at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC yesterday marking Bangladesh's Independence Day.

Biswal said she has every confidence that the people of the two nations will encounter no problem which, working side by side, they cannot solve together. "We’ll be there in the long struggle against the effects of climate change, which threaten the many tens of millions of people that live along our coastlines."

She said they will be there in support of the rights of every citizen to speak openly, practice their faiths freely, assemble peacefully, and vote in honest and fair elections, because democracy lives in the DNA of both two peoples. "The coming decades will present us with new challenges of growing complexity, requiring that we find novel approaches and solutions."

Bangladesh Ambassador M Ziauddin, Ambassador Peter Selfridge, Assistant Secretary Ann Richards, and Peter Lavoy, a number of former ambassadors, including Tezzie and Howie Schaffer, Dan Mozena, and James Moriarty were present.

In the past few decades, Biswal said Bangladesh has gone from a food importer to a food exporter, helping to ensure food security in one of the most populous parts of the world. "Its economy has grown at about 6 percent every year for 20 years, lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty. Its mothers are now far more likely to survive childbirth, while its infants have a much greater chance of living to adulthood. Its homegrown organizations like BRAC and Grameen Bank are showing the rest of the world how to follow Bangladesh’s impressive model of development."

The United States is a proud partner of Bangladesh in many of these successes, she said, adding, "Our USAID mission in Dhaka, one of the largest in the world, invests nearly 200 million dollars every year to help Bangladeshis live healthier, longer, more productive lives."

And no other country buys more of Bangladesh’s products than the United States – every year Americans purchase more than 5 billion dollars’ worth of goods made in Bangladesh, supporting many millions of livelihoods, Biswal said.

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