B’desh, US share same vision for Indo-Pacific: Envoy Haas

Dhaka, March 31 : Bangladesh and the US share different but strikingly similar visions for the Indo-Pacific region, says the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas. Speaking at an International Conference in Dhaka on Thursday, Ambassador Haas said that both the countries can work together to advance in those areas where their visions overlap. Haas said that the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) of the US has five key elements. The US envisions an Indo-Pacific which is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient. He said that the goal of defending these ideals is not to keep any country down but to protect the right of all countries to choose their own paths, free from coercion and intimidation and relying on their own sovereignty. He said Bangladesh has made an important contribution to this cause. In this connection he referred to the peaceful resolution of the land and maritime disputes by Bangladesh making Bay of Bengal an example for the world to follow. Haas said that the US will work with Bangladesh and other partners to ensure the region’s seas and skies are governed and used according to international law. Commending Bangladesh as a committed leader to regional cooperation, Haas said the country has hosted the BIMSTEC Secretariat, Chairing the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) among others. Speaking about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Haas said that the US is developing a comprehensive Framework. It will include shared objectives in key areas like climate and clean energy, fair trade facilitation, resilient supply chains, and the digital economy. Stressing the need to bolster Indo-Pacific security, Ambassador Haas said that the US seeks closer security cooperation with partners to tackle challenges ranging from violent extremism to illegal fishing to human trafficking where Bangladesh has made incredible strides. Haas clarified that the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) is not a military alliance, nor does it seek to become one. He said that the IPS is not about a contest between the US-centric region or China-centric region and that IPS is not designed to make anyone choose between countries. One of the key tenets of the IPS is that every country should be able to choose its own path, free from pressure or coercion. He concluded that the Indo-Pacific Strategy is a positive, shared vision for creating a region where all nations can thrive — Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the US, and each and every other county in the region. MAZ ING

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