Kerry urges Bangladesh to step up efforts against terrorism
30 August 2016, 03:23 | Isaac Mcdaniel
Kerry arrived from neighbouring Bangladesh where he held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on efforts to combat extremism following a recent series of deadly attacks.
He is also scheduled to hold talks with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali. The state secretary had also said that the U.S. has interests in working closely with intelligence agencies of Bangladesh in order to fight terrorism.
But speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on a one-day visit to the capital, Dhaka, Kerry said there was "no argument" that extremists operating in Bangladesh had links to counterparts in Syria and Iraq.
During the Dialogue, issues like terrorism emanating from Pakistan and other important issues, including economic matters like visas, will be discussed.
Kerry also spoke of the need for authorities to protect the rights and safety of its workers, particularly those in the garment industry that earns the country more than $20 billion a year from exports, mainly to the United States and Europe and employs about 4 million workers, mostly women, in 4,000 factories.
"So I'm confident that our assistance to Bangladesh will increasingly be created to help the government address terrorism threats from domestic and trans-national organisations", Kerry said.
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According to diplomatic sources, the issue of terrorism and militancy will dominate Kerry's talks in the aftermath of a spate of militant attacks in Bangladesh. "So we are working with local partners to make Bangladesh resilient against all odds", Kerry said in a 35-minute speech.
While talking about the ongoing anti-ISIS drive in the Middle East, he said the outfit has been cornered in the region due to the operation and many terrorists are now returning home in the face of the attack.
Landing in Dhaka around 10:10am, Kerry first visited Bangabandhu museum in Dhanmondi 32.
Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told the media the prime minister asked Kerry for duty- and quota-free access to the U.S. market for all Bangladeshi products. But today, Bangladesh is growing in the vision of Bangabandhu - and under the strong leadership of his daughter (Sheikh Hasina).
"He will focus on strengthening our long-standing bilateral partnership on democracy, development, security and human rights", said the statement.
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