Dhaka, Aug 29 (IANS) Visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here on Monday with the talks believed to have focused on terrorism, in the wake of last month’s terror strikes in the country.
Details of the meeting could not be obtained immediately.
Kerry, who is on a nine-hour stay here, is also set to meet with opposition leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia later in the day at the residence of the US envoy, reported the Daily Star.
From Dhaka, Kerry will visit India, where cooperation between the US, India and Bangladesh in combating terrorism will be a priority agenda during discussions.
Kerry’s maiden visit to Bangladesh, at the virtual end of President Barack Obama’s tenure, was deemed “significant” by diplomats as they thought the US was giving importance to Hasina’s government after cold-shouldering it for years.
Earlier in the day, Kerry visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay respects to Bangladesh’s founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He observed in the comment book at the memorial that Bangladesh is moving ahead in line with the vision of Bangabandhu under Hasina’s strong leadership, reported the Dhaka Tribune.
“What a tragedy to have such valiant and courageous leadership stories from the people of Bangladesh in such a moment of violence and cowardice. But today, Bangladesh is growing in the vision of Bangabandhu — and under the strong leadership of his daughter (Sheikh Hasina). The US is proud to be a friend and strong supporter of the fulfillment of his vision. We look forward to growing and working together for peace and prosperity,” said Kerry.
Kerry landed at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and was greeted by Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.
US envoy Marcia Bernicat was present.
The US Secretary is to meet with government officials to discuss growing cooperation on global issues, according to a US State Department statement issued in Washington.
“He will focus on strengthening our long-standing bilateral partnership on democracy, development, security and human rights,” said the statement.