The United States has said it will continue to work closely with Bangladesh for the voluntary, dignified and safe return of the Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar.
US Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert said this during the Independence Day reception on Wednesday at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC.
“Our cooperation in responding to the Rohingya crisis is the fruit of a strong bilateral relationship that we seek to enhance even further,” Heather said.
The close bond between Bangladesh and the US has never been more essential and Bangladesh's leadership more vital during this tragic humanitarian crisis, she said.
Recollecting her maiden overseas visit to Bangladesh last November as the spokesperson for the US state department, Heather said she was deeply moved during her visit to Cox's Bazar to see how the people of Bangladesh have opened their doors and their hearts to the Rohingyas fleeing violence in Myanmar.
“Bangladesh has the profound gratitude of the American people for all that you have done and continue to do [so] to provide comfort to those in such great need,” she said.
Earlier, Heather placed a wreath at the bust of Bangabandhu installed on the chancery premises.
Referring to her visit to Bangabandhu Museum in Dhaka, she said Bangabandhu in his celebrated speech on March 7 in 1971 said, “Whether Bengali or non-Bengali, Hindu or Muslim, all are brothers, and it is our responsibility to ensure their safety.”
“Let us honour his [Bangabandhu's] wisdom and spirit and strive together for a peaceful, prosperous Bangladesh where all are considered brothers and sisters and guaranteed their rights,” Heather said.
Mohammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh ambassador to USA, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a firm stance on secularism. The political and humanitarian support accorded to Bangladesh by the US in the case of the 7,00,000 Rohingyas fleeing ethnic cleansing reflects the strong bond between the two countries.
Diplomats from foreign missions, US government officials, politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, high civil and military officials, senior journalists and members of the Bangladeshi community attended the reception at Bangabandhu Auditorium in the evening.