Today is the 50th anniversary of U.S.-Bangladeshi diplomatic relations and I’m so excited to be here and I’m so excited to celebrate with you. When I look back over the past 50 years the progress that Bangladesh has made is absolutely incredible. The strides you have made the economic development, the reduction of poverty, it’s really great and I’m pleased that the United States has been a partner to you during those last 50 years.
Our 50 years that we’re celebrating today, one of the things that really symbolizes it is the tree that Senator Edward Kennedy planted at the University of Dhaka. So at this site where so many atrocities took place and where the Pakistani army cut down this tree, the idea that Senator Kennedy came here and planted it and that it’s still there, and when I had the opportunity to visit it, it just said something to me about our entire relationship and how it’s lasted and how it’s sturdy like that tree.
What makes me more excited to be posted here to be the U.S. Ambassador here at this time is looking forward to the next 50 years. The opportunities we have to work together are incredible whether it’s on human rights, on democracy, on poverty alleviation, on combating the effects of climate change, building business ties, more Bangladeshi students studying in the United States, the cultural exchanges, it’s just really a fantastic time to be here and today’s a wonderful day to celebrate our partnership and to look forward to the next 50 years.