US official Nuland to visit Bangladesh amid Russia-Ukraine war
US President Joe Biden is sending Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to Bangladesh amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Nuland will also visit India and Sri Lanka during the trip from Mar 19-23 “with an interagency delegation to underscore US commitment to, and cooperation with, Indo-Pacific partners”, the State Department said in a statement on Friday. She will arrive in Dhaka first.
Nuland will hold Partnership Dialogues in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi, according to the statement.
At each stop, Nuland and her delegation will meet with civil society and business leaders “to strengthen economic partnerships and deepen ties in the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific region”.
Other senior members of the delegation include Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Amanda Dory.
A source said the delegation will hold talks on Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka’s position on the war in Ukraine.
In South Asia, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives supported the West in condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine in a vote.
Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka abstained from voting amid unprecedented sanctions imposed by the West on Russia. Reports that India may take up a Russian offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at a discount irked Western officials.
The Bangladesh government has been saying it is monitoring the situation since the beginning of the war. The official statement called for resolving the issue through dialogue. Its statements are conciliatory, peppered with words like “restraint,” and “diplomacy and dialogue.”