Blinken calls up Momen, discusses bilateral issues


Momen set to brief media on Thursday

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a phone call to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday evening and discussed issues of mutual interest.

The two sides discussed bilateral issues and areas of cooperation between the two countries.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam said on the eve of 50th anniversary of the Victory of Bangladesh, the US secretary of state and Foreign Minister Dr Momen spoke over the phone at a length.

“Both renewed the resolve to take forward the relationship further. They also agreed to increased engagement while celebrating 50th anniversary of bilateral relationship,” the state minister tweeted.

Although details could of the conversation could not be known immediately, the foreign minister is scheduled to briefmedia on Thursday afternoon regarding the Indian president’s state visit. He is expected to share more on the telephone conversation with Blinken as well.

Earlier, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller was summoned by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Saturday to convey Dhaka’s “discontent” over the designated sanctions imposed by the US Departments of Treasury and State on some of the present and former officials of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

Foreign Secretary Momen expressed Bangladesh’s disappointment that the decision was taken “unilaterally” by the US Administration without any prior consultation with the Government of Bangladesh.
He flagged that the issues that were cited for imposing the designated sanctions remained under active discussions, including under the framework of the regular institutional dialogues between the two sides, and that yet the US decision came without any prior intimation.

The foreign secretary regretted that the US had decided to undermine an agency of the government that had been on the forefront of combating terrorism, drug trafficking and other heinous transnational crimes that were considered to be shared priorities with successive US administrations.

Ambassador Miller took note of the concerns raised by the Government of Bangladesh, and assured of conveying the same to Washington, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He concurred that the excellent multifaceted relations between two countries could be further deepened through established consultation mechanisms and high-level visits.
Ambassador Miller further expressed the willingness of the US government to remain closely engaged with the Government of Bangladesh in the coming days on issues of mutual interest.


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