“US polls result won’t impact Dhaka-Washington ties”
DOT Desk:  As the United States awaits the crucial presidential elections in next few days, analysts predict the outcome is unlikely to affect the existing close Dhaka-Washington relation despite speculations about the polls impact on US ties with some other nations.  US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun has just concluded a three-day Dhaka tour when he indicated that his country treats Bangladesh as a “centerpiece” in South Asia, a position which was unlikely to be changed whoever takes the Whitehouse – Republicans or Demarcates, reports BSS.  Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said the United States set outline of its relations with Dhaka under a “well plotted strategy” while past instances suggested the change of administration after presidential elections there make no rapid change in US foreign policy.  “Whoever comes (to power in US) hopefully will follow the same policy (towards Bangladesh),” he said after a meeting with Biegun on Thursday adding that Bangladesh’s robust economic growth and stability alongside its geopolitical location drew the US interest towards Dhaka. But, he said, Bangladesh counts US interest.
 International relations analyst Professor Lailufar Yasmin of Dhaka University echoed Momen saying “US policy towards Bangladesh whether it is under Trump administration or Obama administration didn’t change”.
 “Now they (US) took IPS (Indo Pacific Strategy) but there was no change in Bangladesh’s geopolitical strategic significance,” she told BSS.
 She pointed out that in his election campaign Predsident Donald Trump’s rival Joe Biden is also speaking against China in line with his party’s foreign policy.
International affairs expert Prof Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, however, said Bangladesh should not take any major decision regarding ties with the United States ahead of the polls as the “Trump administration’s foreign policy is insular and promoting deglobalization”.
Biegun arrived here just less than three weeks before the US polls while the democratic candidate Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump in the national polls for the presidential election.
Ahmed speculated that the senior US official’s visit could be part of Trump’s election campaign to show the US voters that the Republicans were very confident to stage a comeback and being engaged in geopolitics against China.
He said huge numbers of Indian and Bangladeshi origin USA diaspora voters could be another reason for Biegun’s selection of New Delhi and Dhaka for the visit just two weeks before the polls.
During his Dhaka visit Biegun joined an interaction with a select group of journalists including BSS diplomatic correspondent, when he said the current Bangladesh-US relation was in a “very good shape” and the existing ties offered scopes to deepen it.
But the senior US state department official said relations of his country with Bangladesh was mainly based on investment and trade cooperation and this “positive engagement of the USA in Bangladesh is nothing to do about it (the geo politics)”.
He said a recent bilateral economic dialogue suggested measures to develop an economic roadmap while there were numbers of factors including Dhaka’s growth and sustained stability that drive the increasing US interest to Bangladesh.
“The US sees Bangladesh as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region and we’re committed to growing our partnership in this regard to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. Bangladesh will be a centerpiece of our work in the region,” Biegun told another media briefing during his visit.
But he acknowledged that “there are a number of challenges and tensions in the region that have alarmed the US and other countries in the Indo-Pacific”.
Dhaka sought enhanced US engagement and use of its good office in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
Biegun, on the other hand, said major countries in the region needed to call the Myanmar government in a “broad and unified voice” to restore security and stability as well as to ensure hospitable environment in Rohingyas homeland of its Rakhine state for their quick return.
He said the US was also keen to expand security cooperation with Dhaka in view of long history of bilateral military cooperation.