The United States has said it looks forward to working with Bangladesh to "enhance economic investment" over the next 50 years and beyond. The visiting US delegation met Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to PM Sheikh Hasina, to hear how government and private companies are collaborating. Eileen Laubacher, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia, US National Security Council (NSC); Michael Schiffer, USAID Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia; and Afreen Akhter, US Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, are on a three-day visit to Bangladesh. For over 50 years, the US has partnered with the government and the people of Bangladesh, providing over $8 billion to tackle issues like public health, education, energy, environment, food security, natural disasters, and more. Read: Want to create a new chapter in our relations: Foreign Minister says after meeting with US delegation The United States is one of the largest investors in Bangladesh and its largest single country export market, said the US Embassy in Dhaka. "Our leadership from Washington D.C. joined local economic experts to discuss a range of issues impacting the bilateral trade relationship," said the US Embassy. The United States "stands ready" to help Bangladesh create a business climate that attracts more investment from the US. The delegation discussed ways to improve the business environment, making investment in Bangladesh more attractive to American companies. Read: Bangladesh-US relations will be stronger based on environment, climate actions: Environment Minister The three officials, according to the US side, are visiting Bangladesh to discuss with the government of Bangladesh ways to "strengthen diplomatic ties, address challenges, and promote a shared vision for the advancement of mutual interests in the Indo-Pacific region." They also met Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, civil society representatives, labour leaders, youth activists and those engaged in developing a free and uncensored media. "We discussed with the Foreign Minister how our two countries can work on mutual interests, including economic development, security, refugees, climate, labor, and trade," said the US Embassy in a separate message after the meeting. Bangladesh is an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region, it said. Read more: US Deputy Assistant Secretary meets Bangladeshi civil society members including Zillur and Adilur
The United States has emphasized the critical role of civil society in nurturing a robust democracy and catalyzing positive societal changes. Following a significant meeting between US Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Afreen Akhter and key figures from Bangladesh's civil society, the US Embassy in Dhaka expressed satisfaction on Sunday. "Very pleased to meet today with courageous and committed figures in Bangladesh’s civil society to share views on its present state," the Embassy stated. Environment Minister inaugurates 2nd National Forest Inventory The US said it will continue to engage on democracy and human rights issues. "We call on the government of Bangladesh to do so too," the message shared by the US Embassy from its verified Facebook page said. Notably present at the meeting were journalist Zillur Rahman and Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan. Meanwhile, a US delegation led by the USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Asia, Michael Schiffer, accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter met with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at State guesthouse Padma to discuss issues for strengthening bilateral relations. Read more: US to work with Bangladesh to ‘enhance economic investment’ in next 50 years and beyond
US Embassy in Dhaka has alerted its Facebook followers to remain aware of fake profiles. “Stay aware of these deceptive profiles on social media! They may seem official, but they’re faker than a sunflower in the Arctic,” a post from US Embassy’s verified Facebook page today (November 07, 2023) reads. Read: US says it takes any violence leading up to election in Bangladesh ‘incredibly seriously’ The embassy also encouraged netizens not to share personal information and not to engage with requests for money if they encounter any such profile. The US Embassy also encouraged reporting the profiles on the social media platforms.
Though US Ambassador Peter Haas mentioned inclusion of media in the visa restriction policy for Bangladesh, the United States Department of State refrained from mentioning media. “I will say that, as we noted when we announced these new visa restrictions on Friday, they include – they include both members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a regular media briefing on September 25. He also said when the US Secretary of State announced the new visa policy in May, the purpose was not to take a side, but to ensure or to support free, fair, and peaceful national election in Bangladesh. Chief Justice rails against US visa policy on last working day Responding to a question specifically on the inclusion of media in the visa restrictions, the State Department spokesperson said: “I think what we have said, and we – so we have not announced because visa records are confidential – we have not announced the specific members or the specific individuals to which this will apply, but it made clear that they will apply to members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.” Clarifying the issue after US Ambassador Peter Haas’ remarks, the US Embassy in a Facebook post on Monday said, “We are applying the [visa restriction] policy in a balanced way against anyone [undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh] – regardless of being pro-government, opposition party, members of law enforcement agencies, members of the judiciary, or media persons.” Image of police won’t be affected due to US Visa policy: IGP US Embassy Spokesperson Bryan Schiller said the visa restriction policy can be applied to anyone “found to be undermining” democratic elections in Bangladesh. “This could include vote rigging, intimidating voters, use of violence to prevent people from exercising their rights to freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from participating in the electoral process or expressing their views,” he told UNB while responding to a question. Responding to a question on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release and treatment abroad, US State Department Spokesperson Miller said, “I just don’t have any comment on that.” What could be the possible reasons to apply US visa restrictions against someone?
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan paid a visit to the US Embassy in Dhaka and engaged in friendly cricket with US Ambassador Peter Haas. The US Embassy shared a video on their social media platforms, showing Shakib bowling to Haas, who in turn faced Shakib's deliveries. The video captured the camaraderie between Shakib and the US Ambassador, along with others briefly participating in the friendly game of cricket. Bangladesh poised to be a formidable contender in World Cup, Shakib believes Accompanied by his wife and children, Shakib also posed for a photo with the US ambassador. Bangladesh ready for Asia Cup with Shakib at the helm Shakib's wife, Umme Ahmed Shishir, lives in the US with their children, and Shakib frequently travels to the US whenever he finds breaks in his busy cricketing schedule. Shakib is currently enjoying a break from cricket. He is expected to join the national team soon that will travel to India to take part in the World Cup. Shakib chosen as ODI Captain of Bangladesh
The US Embassy has announced the annual call for applications for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program for the 2024-2025 academic year. This unique, one-year program is open to Bangladeshi professionals (application deadline: July 1, 2023) currently working in the public and private sectors, including local and international non-governmental organizations, said the Embassy on Monday (May 08, 2023). The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program is one of the U.S. government’s prestigious Fulbright programs that brings accomplished mid-career professionals to the United States for a year of non-degree, graduate-level study, leadership development, and substantive professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. By providing future leaders and policy makers with exposure to U.S. society, culture, and professional fields, the program seeks to develop lasting, productive ties between program participants and their Americans counterparts. Read More: 42 Islamic University students win Science and Technology Fellowship Fellowships are offered in the areas such as Human and Institutional Capacity, Rights and Freedoms, Sustainable Lands, and Thriving Communities, including Public Health, Education Management, Communication and Journalism, Law and Human Rights, Natural Resources, Environment Policy, and Climate Change. Over the past few decades, nearly 100 Bangladeshi professionals have participated in this prestigious exchange program. Humphrey alumni include physicians, government officials, journalists, educators, and many leaders from public and private organizations. The Humphrey Fellowship covers tuition and fees for the fellow's academic programs, a monthly maintenance stipend, insurance coverage, an allowance for books and supplies, round-trip international airfare, supplementary funds for professional activities such as field trips and conferences, and expenses in connection with internships. Read More: US programme awards fellowships to 23 young Bangladeshi political leaders
US President Joe Biden has said his country made a commitment to finding long-term solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis and holding perpetrators of the atrocities accountable. “You set an example for the world of empathy and generosity in practice,” the US President wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The US Embassy in Dhaka shared the letter on Sunday (March 26, 2023) which was originally sent on March 21. The US president said Bangladesh has opened its arms and welcomed nearly one million Rohingya refugees. Read More: UK King Charles eyes continuing strong, close partnership with Bangladesh In a message to PM Hasina, Biden on behalf of the United States, wished her and the people of Bangladesh a happy Independence Day. Bangladeshis understand deeply the value of freedom and independence, as they fought courageously in 1971 to choose their own fate and to speak their own language, Biden wrote in the letter that he concluded with "Joy Bangla." As Bangladesh approaches its next election, the US president said, he is reminded of the “deep value” both the nations place on “democracy, equality, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections.” Read More: British parliament urged to recognise Bangladesh Genocide He applauded Bangladesh’s demonstrated commitment to protecting the most vulnerable as the largest contributor to peacekeeping operations. “We thank Bangladesh for cohosting the Global Action Plan ministerial that significantly elevated the political commitment to end the global pandemic,” Biden said. In over 50 years of diplomatic relations, the United States and Bangladesh have achieved a lot together – advancing economic development, strengthening people-to-people ties, addressing global health and climate issues, partnering on the humanitarian response to Rohingya refugees, and committing to a prosperous, secure, democratic, and independent Bangladesh, said the US president. Read More: Bangladesh’s tremendous achievements widely commended by int’l community: Xi Jinping
The US Embassy in Dhaka expects an investigation thoroughly into a reported attack on Mahinur Ahmed Khan, brother of UK-based journalist Zulkarnain Saer Khan Sami "We wish Khan a speedy recovery, and we hope the case is thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice," said acting US Embassy Spokesperson Bryan Schiller in a statement on Friday. Bryan Schiller said the US Embassy is aware of reports that Mahinur was attacked in front of his home in Mirpur last week. Mahinur Ahmed Khan, 37, came under attack at about 8:00pm on March 17 as he went out to buy some essential items from a shop opposite his house, according to his wife Rubyda Rakhee.
The US Embassy in Dhaka will host US university fairs in Dhaka and for the first time in Chattogram. The embassy will arrange the fairs through its EducationUSA platform in partnership with EdPrograms, according to a media statement. Read more: US Embassy’s University Fair on Sep 23: Bangladeshi students can talk to admission officials The first fair will be held at Radisson Blu Chattogram Bay View on January 29 and the second one at InterContinental Dhaka on January 31. The programme aims to provide prospective students, teachers, and college counsellors with a unique opportunity to learn about the US higher education application process from admissions officers from 12 accredited higher education institutions. Anyone who wants to attend the events needs to register at https://forms.gle/aFAEzJmfJQ2wKoH78 for Chattogram fair and https://forms.gle/BxpHge2zEuhkPVF88 for Dhaka. The fairs will include interactive discussions and one-on-one fireside chat opportunities for students to engage with US university admissions recruiters, EducationUSA advisors, and US Embassy officials. From their booths, US institutions of higher education will give information on admissions and scholarship opportunities. Besides, the programme will feature information sessions on the F-1 student visa process. Read more: US Embassy to host virtual university fairs for promising Bangladeshi students The fairs will also provide students with an opportunity to learn firsthand from testing services on SAT and banking representatives on financial options. EducationUSA is the US Department of State's network of over 425 international student advising centres in 178 countries. The network promotes US higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited institutions in the US. EducationUSA also provides services to the US higher education community to help institutional leaders meet their recruitment and campus internationalisation goals. In Bangladesh, EducationUSA advising services and reference materials are available across the country at the American Center at the US Embassy in Dhaka, the Edward M Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts in Dhanmondi, and virtually in Chattogram. EducationUSA reference libraries and remote advising services are also accessible in collaboration with the American Corners in Khulna, Sylhet, and Rajshahi.
The US has said human trafficking is a crime globally that deprives millions of people of their dignity and freedom. "To properly tackle this crime, it will take a commitment from each of us to end human trafficking. Targeted awareness and outreach efforts are essential," said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. An estimated 27.6 million are now victims of trafficking worldwide. Read more: UN Special Rapporteur will assess rights violation in trafficking during official visit to Bangladesh This month is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time for people, organisations, communities, and federal organisations to join in "our efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labour," he said. The US Agency for International Development's (USAID) Fight Slavery and Trafficking in Persons Project organised an event last week to bring together government and civil society stakeholders to incorporate feedback from regional workshops into the revised National Plan of Action.