By Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State
Well, I am very pleased to be welcoming the foreign minister of Bangladesh. Minister Moni has been here in Washington meeting with officials and civil society and discussing the program and agenda that Bangladesh is following.
We have certainly watched with great interest as Bangladesh has tackled poverty. We appreciate the close cooperation on counterterrorism, an issue that is very important to both of our countries. We want to work with Bangladesh and other countries in the area to promote regional integration so that there are greater economic opportunities, that many of the problems that prevent the free flow of commerce can be overcome so that the people of the entire region can prosper.
We know that governments alone cannot make change, that it has to come from the people. And we urge the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that media outlets are able to exercise freedom of the press and that NGOs have the opportunity to be a vibrant contributor to the future of Bangladesh. And of course, we have expressed directly to the government our concern and hope that the Grameen Bank, which was well recognized by the world, particularly with a Nobel Peace Prize for what it’s done to help alleviate poverty, is able to continue to function productively on behalf of the Bangladeshi people.
So I’m looking forward to a robust and comprehensive meeting.
FOREIGN MINISTER MONI: Thank you. I’m very happy to be here. I have had a very fruitful day yesterday and today. I’m meeting with Secretary Clinton and we have very effective cooperation and partnership with the U.S. on so many very important issues that are important globally now. And we are working closely on all the issues that Secretary Clinton has just mentioned and also on climate change and poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment.
And Bangladesh, as a secular democratic country, having a very free and robust media, the very vibrant civil society, looks forward to more effective cooperation with countries like the U.S., which is a good friend and partner. And I can assure Secretary Clinton and everyone, friends all over the world, that Bangladesh Government will do and is doing everything in its capacity to uphold all the values that we all cherish of freedom, of liberty, of cooperation, of rights for everyone.
And with regard to Grameen, as a statutory body enjoying all the rights and privileges that it does, Bangladesh Government is also proud, as a country we are proud, that we have a Nobel-winning institution. And we believe firmly, firmly believe, that it will continue to do the job that it is supposed to do with a lot of success. And we will see cooperation in every sector, including trade and investment, from the U.S.
Thank you so much.