Remarks by Under Secretary Thomas Shannon at the Partnership Dialogue

Embassy of the United States of America
Public Affairs Section
Tel: 880-2-5566-2000
Fax: 880-2-9881677, 9885688




NOVEMBER 5, 2017:  I am pleased to be back in Dhaka for the U.S.-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue.  I would like to thank Foreign Secretary Haque and the Government of Bangladesh for hosting me.  I am especially grateful to the people of Bangladesh, who have received me with typical generosity and kindness.

This is my second visit to Bangladesh and the second time I have participated in the Partnership Dialogue. This is the sixth Partnership Dialogue, which began in 2012.  This annual dialogue is an important opportunity to discuss our cooperation on global, regional, and bilateral matters of concern to both our countries.

Foreign Secretary Haque and I discussed a full range of important issues today.  We devoted special attention to our trade and prosperity agenda, as well as security in the Indian Ocean region, combatting transnational terrorist groups, our approach to North Korea’s dangerous and provocative conduct, and the Rohingya crisis.

As this dialogue demonstrates, the United States and Bangladesh collaborate on many important issues, and share a long history of cooperation.  It also demonstrates our commitment to a vision of a tolerant, democratic Bangladesh that serves as a bridge for commerce between South and Southeast Asia.

Foreign Secretary Haque and I also discussed the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the border with Burma.  I reiterated our concern, expressed by officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government, including President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Secretary Tillerson, regarding the scale of the violence that has been reported in northern Rakhine State, and our commitment to see accountability for those actions.  I conveyed our deep appreciation and respect for the generosity of the government and people of Bangladesh in responding to the more than six hundred thousand Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25.

Bangladesh is an anchor for stability and prosperity in the region, and we appreciate the government’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  Last month, Secretary of State Tillerson described our strategic interests and guiding principles in the Indo-Pacific region in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  These include free trade and sustainable development, rule of law, freedom of navigation, and support for the universal values of democracy and human rights.  We are grateful to be able to count Bangladesh as a close and reliable partner in these endeavors.

I would like to close by again thanking my Bangladeshi counterparts for hosting me, for making today’s dialogue so substantive and productive, and for their commitment to the U.S.-Bangladesh partnership.  To the people of Bangladesh, let me reiterate our respectful commitment to the friendship that binds together our two great nations.


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