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How will Joe Biden’s win affect Bangladesh-US ties?

  • Published at 01:39 pm November 8th, 2020
Joe Biden
File photo: US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks after being declared the winner of the US presidential election, in Wilmington on November 7, 2020 AFP

Significant changes unlikely but there may be development on Rohingya issue, according to experts

Leaders of ruling Awami League believe Bangladesh-US bilateral ties will be strengthened during the tenure of Joe Biden, newly elected president of the US, but diplomats and international affairs experts think the relationship between the two countries will be the same.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated US president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris through separate messages on Sunday. 

In the message to Biden, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “Bangladesh, over the years since its independence in 1971, has forged an excellent and durable relationship with the USA. Now, with you at the helm of affairs of your country, I foresee the relationship reaching new heights in the coming days. 

“I look forward to working closely with you in attaining shared ideals as well as in effectively confronting the evils of terrorism, violent extremism, hatred, forced displacements as of the Rohingyas, and for the realization of a safer and a better world,” she added.

Muhammad Faruk Khan, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday afternoon that Joe Biden and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have previously met each other at a program.

“I think, this time, Bangladesh and US relations will be deeper and stronger, as we are expecting some good progress in the Rohingya crisis and some other issues related to trade and commerce. We hope we will get more support during this regime,” added Faruk Khan, who is also serving as a presidium member of Awami League’s central committee.

Amena Mohsin, professor of department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka, said: “I do not think major changes will come in the trade and commerce.”

Regarding the Rohingya crisis, she said: “As we have seen previously, democrats are more concerned with human rights, so this time we might come to know of some concrete development on the Rohingya issue. This also depends on the US-China relations. During the reign of the Republican party, we have noticed there was a deterioration in relations between US and China, but this time this relationship could now become competitive and sophisticated.”

Dr Shammi Ahmed, international affairs secretary of Awami League, said US foreign policy is the same for everyone and does not depend on which party in in power. “However, we think our relation will be more developed and stronger this time. We are expecting some important developments on bilateral issues related to the garment sector and Rohingyas.”

Md Shahidul Haque, former foreign secretary, said: “I do not think qualitative changes will come for Bangladesh with the change of US President.”

PM Sheikh Hasina co-chaired a High-level Summit on Strengthening International Peace Operations during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters on September 26, 2014 in New York City, where former US vice-president Joe Biden was also present.

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