Washington assures Dhaka of continuing support to solve Rohingya crisis


DHAKA, Sept 11, 2020 (BSS) – US Defence Secretary Dr. Mark T Esper called Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina over phone today and assured her of continuing his country’s support in bringing a peaceful solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis.

“The US defence secretary phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this evening and assured her of continuing US support in bringing a peaceful solution to the Rohingya problem,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told BSS.

The press secretary said the US defence secretary expressed his appreciation for the generosity shown by Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue and thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard.

Secretary Esper talked with the premier about the range of defense cooperation existing between Bangladesh and the USA.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Secretary Esper exchanged views that both the governments will continue senior-level dialogues and discussions to enhance cooperation in the defense sector.

The US defence secretary thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for extending cooperation during the coronavirus pandemic that hit the USA hard.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed condolence for the loss of lives in the USA and praised the support provided by the USA to Bangladesh in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

The prime minister and the US defence secretary hoped that the two countries will continue to work closely in facing the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Karim said.

Secretary Esper lauded the role of Bangladesh as the number one troops contributing country in the UN Peacekeeping Operations.

He expressed sadness for the damage of a Bangladesh Navy Ship in the deadly bomb blast in Beirut Port in August.

The US defence secretary hoped that Bangladesh will continue to play its “productive role” in peace-building with the Peace Keeping Forces and informed that the US will continue its support in this regard.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked about the upcoming US election and hoped that the elections would be held in a befitting manner.

Secretary Esper added that his government stands ready to offer any help to Bangladesh in handling the current flood or any other natural disaster that the country might face.

The prime minister also sought the US defence secretary’s support in repatriating Rashed Chowdhury, a Bangabandhu’s fugitive convicted killer who is now residing in the USA.

Secretary Esper assured the premier of extending cooperation in this regard, the press secretary said.