Bangladesh: What Messages Will Be Conveyed By Visits Of Resnick, Macron, And Lavrov? – OpEd


Three important people from three countries are coming to Bangladesh this week and next. The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US State Department Political-Military Bureau Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Security Affairs Mira Resnick has sparked renewed political debate.

This is the first time that a Russian minister is visiting Bangladesh after independence. Absolute and faithful stop Russia in the independence war of Bangladesh. Therefore, the visit of the foreign minister of Russia is considered very important amid the country’s political tension and foreign interference in various issues. He will also meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after a formal meeting with the Foreign Minister.

According to diplomatic sources, Mira Resnik has come on September 4-5 to participate in the soft security dialogue between Bangladesh and the United States held in Dhaka. The Russian Foreign Minister will visit Dhaka on September 7-8 ahead of the G-20 summit to be held in Delhi. And after attending the G-20 conference in Delhi, the French president is scheduled to come to Bangladesh on September 11. Diplomats in Dhaka, Washington, Moscow and Paris are having a busy time around these three high-profile visits.

In the last few months, high-ranking officials of the US government and the European Union have visited Bangladesh on various issues. A US Congress delegation visited Dhaka on August 12 after a gap of several years. During a kind of tension between Dhaka and Washington surrounding the Bangladesh elections, United States Democratic Party Congressman Ed Case and Republican Party Congressman Richard McCormick elected from Georgia visited for four days and exchanged views with government ministers and leaders of various political parties. Richard Napiu, the chief coordinator of the US anti-corruption division, also visited Dhaka.

Brigadier General Thomas James, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy of the US Indo-Pacific Command, is coming to join the defense dialogue in the second half of this month. Moreover, Brendan Lynch, US Commerce Department’s Assistant Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, is scheduled to attend the Council meeting on the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) in the first half of next month.

The ruling party Awami League, BNP and like-minded people are still adamant on their position on the upcoming election issue of Bangladesh. The pressure from the West, especially the United States, continues to ensure fair and free elections. Such a situation is taking the upcoming three high-profile tours seriously.

The eighth security dialogue between the two countries was held in Washington in April 2022. This time the ninth dialogue will be held in Dhaka. In this dialogue, various issues of bilateral partnership including strategic priorities, regional security, defense cooperation, civil security cooperation, UN peacekeeping, militancy and counter-terrorism will be discussed. The Rohingya issue can be discussed as a security threat in the regional and global context in the dialogue. Bangladesh may once again call for Rashed Chowdhury, the murderer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to be sent back to Bangladesh to face trial. In addition to participating in the dialogue, US Representative Resnick will also speak with government officials, civil society and media representatives.

In the Eighth Security Dialogue, the two countries held ‘constructive discussions’ on the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and the Acquisition and Cross Access and Servicing Agreement (ACSA). United States is interested in increasing security cooperation with Bangladesh. And Forces, Bangladesh wants to make the military forces modern to implement Goal 2030. Efforts are being made to procure sophisticated weapons from the United States as well as other sources to reduce dependence on a single country in arms procurement. For this, in 2018, Bangladesh was offered to purchase arms from the United States. However, for this, the Jisomiya agreement must be signed under the defense agreement between the two countries. Recently, the issues were discussed in the defense dialogue between the two countries. These issues can be discussed as a follow-up.

It is reported that Mira Resnick oversees the Office of the Regional Security and Arms Transfer Bureau. He is responsible for over $40 billion in annual defense equipment sales. In addition, Meera oversees $6.5 billion in annual security assistance under the Bureau’s Office of Security Assistance. Before joining the State Department, Mira Resnick served as a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Middle East and North Africa.

Russian Foreign Minister coming to Dhaka on September 7

Sources in Dhaka and Moscow said that if everything goes well, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will come to Dhaka on September 7 before attending the G-20 summit and will go to Delhi the next day, September 8. This will be the first visit of a Russian foreign minister to independent Bangladesh.

Lavrov will have a courtesy meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in addition to a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen during this visit. In the meetings, various bilateral issues including Rooppur power plant, Rohingya crisis, Ukraine war, shipping complications, cooperation in the United Nations, trade growth will be discussed. This bilateral visit is quite significant in the context of ongoing politics and elections. Because Russia’s arch-rival United States election, Nobel laureate. The government has been under constant pressure on various issues including Yunus. Meanwhile, Moscow has called the US pressure interference in domestic politics. So, all eyes are on Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Dhaka.

The French President will come to Dhaka via Delhi

the related diplomatic sources have confirmed that, Emmanuel Macron is coming to Dhaka on September 11. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said in this context that the French President wants to come to Dhaka after the G-20 summit held in Delhi. The conference will end on September 10 and it seems, then he will come to Bangladesh.

Climate change, food security, energy security, trade and investment, legal immigration will be discussed during Macron’s visit. France wants to set up a satellite factory in Bangladesh. The government is looking at the matter positively. However, no final decision has been made yet. This may also be discussed during the visit of the country’s president.

Kamal Uddin Mazumder

Kamal Uddin Mazumder is a Security and Strategic Affairs Analyst.

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