Take neighbours along to fight terror, US tells Dhaka

January 16th, 2009 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 16 (IANS) The United States has told the new government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that Bangladesh needs to work with neighbouring countries to fight terrorism.”Terrorism is an issue confronting both the governments in Dhaka and Washington. We hoped the incoming government would recognise that this is an issue Bangladesh needs to address and need to work with neighbouring countries to address it,” US envoy James Moriarty said Thursday after meeting Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.

Asked by the media about the US priority with the new government in Bangladesh, Moriarty reiterated his 3-D principle - democracy, development and denial of space to terrorism, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency said.

Moriarty also said the United States could help the new government “consolidate democracy as there is a lot of support in America for this country”.

“We will do everything we can,” The Daily Star newspaper said.

Both the US and Bangladesh are in a period of transition.

Outgoing US President George W. Bush, in a telephone call last week to Hasina, welcomed the emergence of a “non-communal” government in Dhaka.

Diplomatic observers say this was expression of relief at the defeat of the Islamist forces about whose ascendance the US has repeatedly expressed concerns.

Asked whether the amount of the US aid for Bangladesh would be affected in the wake of economic downturn, he said: “We will have to look at it.”

“The new government in Washington will look into it. I hope Bangladesh will do well and Washington will do well. I think the number will stay pretty well.”

On the current scam that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and British investigators are probing, Moriarty said this was not connected with the political change in Bangladesh.

The US Department of Justice believes that there is corruption money in a bank account in Singapore and the department’s actions in this regard have nothing to do with Bangladesh politics, he said.

Bangladesh’s two-term former prime minister and now opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko is accused of receiving slush money and stashing it in a Singapore bank.

“We have taken specific action against a bank account in Singapore with roughly $3 million,” Moriarty said, adding that the owners of that account now can appeal and say why they think the money is not corrupt.

In this context, he mentioned that telecom giant Siemens in December last admitted that they paid significant amounts of bribe to a number of people.

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