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No shift in US stance: Mozena

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Staff reporter
The United State (US) still sticks to its January 6 statement which called for a fresh and inclusive election in Bangladesh but will work with this government ‘very closely’ to boost Dhaka-Washington partnership.
“The statement (Jan 5) is the latest position…that’s our policy,” the envoy told reporters at a meet-the-press event at American Club in the city after returning from the US completing three-week visit.
Expressing displeasure over the January 5 elections, the US encouraged the government and opposition parties to engage in ‘immediate dialogue’ to find a way to hold fresh elections as soon as possible that are free, fair, peaceful, and credible.
Asked about the differences between the position of October 2013 and that of March 2014, the envoy said he does not know what had happened in October 2013.
Mozena, however, elaborated further saying the US has a partnership with Bangladesh and it works with the government of Bangladesh.
“I came (Nov, 2011) with a mandate to broaden, deepen and strengthen this partnership. We’ve the same mandate. We’ll work with this government very closely to boost up this partnership,” he said.
He said the US will be having security dialogue, partnership dialogue, Ticfa meeting and military bilateral dialogue in the coming weeks and a couple of months which show that US’ partnership in many areas with Bangladesh remained unchanged.
When sought a specific answer on the current status of the government-to-government relation between Bangladesh and the US, Mozena did not respond directly saying US’ support for the people of Bangladesh has not been diminished.
Press and Information Office of the US Embassy Kelly McCarthy was also present.
On restoration of GSP benefit in the US market and progress over the US Action Plan, the US envoy said, “Important progress has been made and much more progress needs to be done.”
He said the GSP restoration roadmap given by the US administration and Sustainability Compact (EU) are the two important roadmaps for transformation of the readymade garment industry.
Mozena also said he believes that Bangladesh is on a path to ensure that tragedies like Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions will never take place in Bangladesh.
He also talked about the ‘Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor’ and mentioned that it ‘generates lot of interests’ and Bangladesh can hugely be benefited being in the middle of the corridor.
Appreciating Bangladesh, the US diplomat said Bangladesh is not poor but it has poor people which different thing, and during his interaction with the various stakeholders in the USA he suggested changing the ‘narrative of Bangladesh’.

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