BigNews.Biz - May 06,2012 - Remarks With Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Prime Minister's Office
FOREIGN MINISTER MONI: Distinguished friends, good evening. We are delighted to have with us today the U.S. Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton. She arrived this afternoon on an official visit. This is her first visit as the Secretary of State, but not her first visit per se. Her earlier visit in 1995, along with her daughter Chelsea, is fondly remembered by everyone. Given the personal manner in which she has touched the hearts of the people, Hillary Clinton has been something of a household name in Bangladesh, and we welcome Secretary Clinton with the same fondness and warmth.
Her current visit has been long awaited and will be counted as a landmark event in the shaping of our bilateral relations of the U.S. since the visit of President Bill Clinton in 2000. Our relations with the U.S. have matured over the years and are based on shared values and commitments and reflected a true partnership. The partnership is as much about convergence and the continued effort at greater convergence as it is about space for dissidence and mutual respect for the space.
In this spirit, we have discussed a host of important issues of concern to both countries, ranging from bilateral, regional, to the global. We have discussed issues on both sides that we wish to move forward on, on our part, duty-free and quota-free access of our products to the U.S. market and extending of GSB facilities where important. In addition, we raised the issue of Bangladesh’s enrollment in the Millennium Challenge Account, repatriation one – of one of the self-confessed convicted killers of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, currently resident in the USA, et cetera.
Both sides expressed the desire to give institutional shape to our partnership dialogue, and we have agreed on signing the Joint Declaration on Bangladesh-U.S. Dialogue on Partnership this evening. The declaration reiterates our common values and aspirations and an accent on cooperation. This declaration now formalizes a dialogue on the entire gamut of our bilateral relations and priorities on an annual basis.
Alternating between Dhaka and Washington, D.C., our friends also raised a number of special interests to them, a number of issues. These include governance and related issues, economic cooperation, counterterrorism, collaboration, and partnership on global issues, et cetera. We have reiterated our resolve to contribute towards building a peaceful and stable world where our issues of common concern will continue to be our priority.
We wish to collectively propagate our values of democracy, diversity, rule of law, and human dignity globally, building coalitions across north-south or east-west divides, to transcend the ghettos of our minds, crafting one world on this our one earth. I thank you all.
And now I would invite Secretary Clinton to make her comments.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very, very much, Minister. And it is a great personal pleasure for me to