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Saturday, May 5, 2012

US-Bangladesh talks pledged



Dhaka, May 5



Bangladesh and the United States will hold high-level annual consultations to deal with a wide range of issues—from crime to climate change, says a joint declaration signed on Saturday in Dhaka.

"We affirm our dedication to deepening dialogue in security cooperation, including in combating terrorism, violent extremism, and transnational crime, such as narcotics trafficking, piracy, and trafficking in persons and arms," it said.

Styled Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue, the talks will be held alternately in both capitals and led by the Foreign Secretary and the Under Secretary of State.

"We also intend to hold periodic consultations at the Foreign Minister-Secretary level," said the declaration signed by Hillary Clinton and Dipu Moni in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.

"Leveraging the values of tolerance, respect for human rights, inclusion and resilience of Bangladesh society, including a robust civil society," according to the declaration, "we intend our broader collaboration to be anchored in a strong bilateral development partnership focused on joint development priorities, including food security, maternal and child health, family planning, climate change, strengthening democracy, youth and women's empowerment, among others."

"We believe that a strong partnership between Bangladesh and the United States, working together to further mutual peace, security and development, is in the interests of the people of Bangladesh, the United States and the world.

"As we look to the challenges of the 21st century, our shared interests and values, including respect for human rights and the rule of law, should guide our collective engagement on addressing the challenges of our time.

"We affirm the strong bonds of friendship and shared values that exist between our two countries and reaffirm our desire to deepen our partnership in addressing bilateral, regional and global issues to the mutual benefit of both Bangladesh and the United States."

"We reiterate our support for the United Nations system, underscore the value of UN-led peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives, and note Bangladesh's singular contribution to such activities.

"We also intend to develop deeper and broader people-to-people ties between the United States and Bangladesh, including through educational and cultural exchanges, encouraging innovation and expanding our commercial and trade relations by building on the creativity and rich diversity of our societies.

"We further support the exchange of information, skills and technology bilaterally, regionally and globally to promote new economic opportunities for our citizens.

"To advance these and other shared objectives, and to review and give strategic direction to the bilateral relationship and its wide array of ongoing and future cooperative activities, we intend to hold regular, annual consultations under a Partnership Dialogue.

"The Dialogue will be led at the level of Foreign Secretary/Under Secretary of State and held at times mutually convenient to both parties, alternating between our respective capitals," it said.

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