Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Envoy calls on PM

US hopeful of fair polls

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US Ambassador Earl Robert Miller calls on Prme Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganobhaban on Monday.

Diplomatic Correspondent :
Newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller on Monday hoped that the 11th Parliamentary election scheduled to be held on December 30 would be free, fair, credible and peaceful.
Robert Miller expressed his optimism during a a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.
The prime issue of the discussion was the upcoming general election, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said after the meeting.
Miller had similar remarks during a call on the Chief Election Commission office on October 11 after his assignment as the US envoy in Dhaka.
Robert Miller said his country would send 32 US election observers during the election in Bangladesh and it will arrange a total of 11 teams in this regard.
Apart from the December 30 election, various issues - including the Rohingya crisis and mutual relationship between the US and Bangladesh - were discussed in the meeting.
About the Rohingya issue, Miller said there should be an environment in Myanmar so that the Rohingyas could return to their homeland there. "The USA would continue its support to Bangladesh on Rohingya issue," he reaffirmed.
Colouring the Bangladesh-USA relations as strong and cordial, he added, the USA wants to cooperate with Bangladesh in energy and education sectors.
While describing the struggle of Bangladesh in establishing democracy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the then Awami League government handed over power peacefully in 2001, a rare example in Bangladesh's history.
Before the 2014 election, she said, the government had offered the opposition some Ministries in the polls-time Cabinet, but they, in return, went for violence, arson attacks and killing people.
During the current election campaign, Hasina said, two of her party men already died in violence. "I've asked my party men to have patience."
The Prime Minister sought cooperation of the US Ambassador in resuming the Dhaka-New York flight.
About the education sector, she said the government has ensured the distribution of free textbooks among the students up to secondary level.
Hasina said, if her party is voted to power in the coming election, the government will raise the GDP rate to eight percent in the next fiscal.

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