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Saturday, May 5, 2012

"I am really urging all political parties to do everything necessary to support democracy"- Says Hillary at Dhaka





 
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has urged all political actors to settle difference through dialogue.

"I am really urging all political parties, not just the government, to do everything necessary to support democracy and find a plan to have free and fair election," she said at a joint press briefing at the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday.

Clinton arrived in Dhaka in the afternoon and had formal talks with foreign minister Dipu Moni at the PMO before the press conference.

"We discussed the recent killing of Aminul Islam (RMG activist) ... we discussed Ali (Illias Ali) and asked for proper investigations," she said.

Criticising general strikes, she said it sent a wrong signal to the international community on the climate for investment in the country.

"Five lives were lost (during the strikes) and it affects the poorer section of the people," she added.

She, however, said the US would continue to support democracy in Bangladesh and the freedom that every Bangladeshi was entitled to.

Security partnership

Dhaka and Washington would continue their cooperation against extremism to ensure that they cannot use 'Bangladesh as transit or use it as a training ground.'

Hillary commended zero-tolerance stance of Bangladesh on terrorism and said Bangladesh and the US had very fruitful talks in the security dialogue held in April.

Maritime boundary

The secretary of state said there was a scope for cooperation in protecting investments in the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh and Myanmar resolved their maritime boundary dispute at the ITLOS and got verdict in March this year.

Bangladesh now has clear demarcation and it can now explore the area.

US company ConocoPhilips is now exploring gas and oil in blocks 10 and 11 at the Bay and has sought another six blocks for exploration.

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