Hasina may change tour plan to meet Obama

May 1st, 2009 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 1 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is scheduled to go to North America next week, may change her itinerary to meet US President Barack Obama, a report said.
Eager to meet Obama, she may visit the US first instead of Canada, provided she gets an appointment from the White House, New Age newspaper said Friday.

During her trip to Canada, Hasina is likely to meet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud told the newspaper.

Hasina is just back from her Saudi Arabia visit, her first since she took office in January. She was able to get significant concessions for the two million Bangladeshi workers employed there.

The likely meeting with Obama came up for discussion when US envoy James F. Moriarty met her Wednesday.

She is seeking more development aid from the US.

She has received a nod in principle from the Obama administration to hold trial of those who collaborated with the erstwhile Pakistan regime during the 1971 freedom movement.

Washington has, however, urged that Dhaka make fool-proof and credible preparations to hold a fair trial.

Hasina was in close touch with the Bush administration during her stay in US last year. On assuming power, she is seeking to establish rapport with the Obama team, media reports said.

She is expected to leave Dhaka May 6 on a two-week tour of North America, but the visit could be deferred by a few days, the newspaper said quoting official sources.

Hasina’s visit also includes a check-up at the John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland for her hearing impairment.

Her ear and eye problems took place after she escaped a grenade attack in 2004.

Hasina’s son Sajib Wajed lives in the US.

In Canada, she will meet her only daughter, Saima Wazed Putul, who gave birth to a daughter - her fourth child - in Toronto April 23.

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