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India’s rise to provide opportunities for Bangladesh: US envoy

Friday, February 12, 2010 03:21:40 PM, IANS

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Dhaka: Bangladesh should not have any fears over India’s rise as a global power as New Delhi’s emergence would provide “opportunities” for Dhaka, US ambassador to Bangladesh James F. Moriarty has said.

Addressing a meeting Thursday on Bangladesh-US relations organised by G2009, a group of opinion-makers close to main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Moriarty defended US-India relations. But he made it clear that his country saw Bangladesh through its own eyes, not those of other countries.


“My government welcomed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to India and the desire manifest both in Dhaka and New Delhi to address longstanding issues between the two countries,” The Daily Star quoted him as saying.


He also said US-Bangladesh relations would be determined by “shared interests and values”.


Moriarty did not respond to economics professor Abu Ahmed’s suggestion that “we want your support while we negotiate with our big neighbour”, bdnews24 web site reported.


“I know that there are those who cast a wary eye on developments in the region, in particular the rise of India as a global power,” said Moriarty.


The ambassador said he very often had questions about the impact of India’s rise and the growing strategic partnership between the US and India on Bangladesh.


“Speaking as the US ambassador to Bangladesh and as someone who has watched this region for many years, I can say without hesitation that the trends you are witnessing provide far more opportunities than dangers for Bangladesh and its citizens,” he said.


The US envoy said his government welcomed the prime minister’s India visit and the desire by both Dhaka and New Delhi to address long standing issues between the two countries.


BNP standing committee member Hannan Shah, however, said: “Our experiences with the so called regional power (India) are not good. They want to extract benefits from poor countries.”


A number of the Group 2009 members reminded the US envoy of BNP’s good relations with the US and the ruling party Awami League’s close relations with the then Soviet Union which was a close ally of India.


The US envoy, however, said that the US buried its cold relations with India in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.








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