Hillary to meet Khaleda Saturday evening

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is due to arrive in Dhaka early Saturday afternoon, will have a meeting with Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia in the evening.

Hillary will call on the BNP chairperson at her Gulshan residence at 8:30pm to discuss different bilateral issues, Khaleda’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan Sohel told The Daily Star Friday afternoon.

He said the tour is very important as the United States is a big development partner of Bangladesh.

The US Secretary of State will make this stop over in Bangladesh between her trip to China and India.

In Dhaka, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives to review robust US-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters, according to an announcement of the US State Department on April 27.

It said Hillary would visit Bangladesh and India on May 5-8 after important meetings in China on May 3-4.  This will be her first visit to Bangladesh as the Secretary of State. She visited Bangladesh in 1995 when she was the US first lady.

She would be in Dhaka on May 5 and make stops later on in Kolkata and New Delhi “to review progress in the strategic partnership” with India, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland told the media in Washington DC on April 27.

A  highly placed source at the Prime Minister’s Office on April 27 told The Daily Star, “Hillary will pay a brief visit and will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”

Sources said the United States is eager to go for a “strategic partnership dialogue” with Bangladesh, which would create a regular forum to discuss issues like counter terrorism, economy, food security, global climate change and energy.

The US government has also been upbeat about strengthening relations with Bangladesh due to its growing economy, strategic importance and the moderate Muslim majority country’s opposition to extremism.

Source: The Daily Star



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