Friday, April 20, 2018 | ePaper

PM says she didn't give in to Clinton's demand for gas

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says the then US President Bill Clinton had pressed her to sell natural gas to the United States. The same pressure also came from former US President Jimmy Carter.
Clinton was the first US president to visit Bangladesh in 2000, when the Hasina-led administration was in office.
"The US president himself requested me. Bill Clinton was the president
then. He came to Dhaka and my reply was, I want to use the resources for the country's people first," Hasina said on Saturday.
The prime minister said she faced the same question during her US visit afterwards. "My reply was the same."
Hasina's remarks came on Saturday while addressing a programme of the founding anniversary of the Special Security Force or SSF, the agency responsible for providing security for VVIPs.
On previous occasions, Hasina said an 'international conspiracy' to gain control over Bangladesh's natural gas led to her party's defeat in the 2001 elections.
The BNP assumed power through the eighth parliamentary election, riding on 41.4 percent of votes that helped it win 193 parliamentary seats. Its ally Jamaat-e-Islami clinched 17 seats with 4.28 percent of votes.
The Awami League or AL, which bagged 40.02 percent of votes, ended up with only 62 seats in parliament.
Speaking at a party event in March this year, Hasina blamed a collusion by the US and India behind the polls defeat.
"American companies invest here to explore gas and they want to sell it to India. But I was not in favour of exporting gas," the AL chief said on Saturday.
"My priority was to know how much gas we have. I must first meet the country's need. A 50-year reserve has to be set aside. If more gas is left over, we can consider selling it, but not before that."

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