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Bangladesh-United States relations
Bangladesh   United States
Map indicating location of Bangladesh and USA
     Bangladesh      United States

Bangladesh-United States relations are the bilateral relations between the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the United States of America.

Contents

History

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with Bangladesh in March, 1972. The diplomatic recognition came three months after the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan in December, 1971. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Nixon administration in America provided substantial diplomatic assistance to Pakistan and opposed the secession of Bangladesh. Despite the US government's strong stance, which was due to the strategic interests of developing close relations with China through Pakistan, there had been wide spread public support for the cause of Bangladesh as world opinion began to be sympathetic towards the plight of Bengali civilians suffering from the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. Influential US lawmakers including Senator Edward Kennedy and cultural figures such as Bob Dylan and Billy Preston engaged in formulating US public opinion against the Nixon administration. The Concert for Bangla Desh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City during August, 1971 and was the first such charity concert of its kind creating an example for future concerts such as Live Aid. The concert attracted 40,000 people and was organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. Initially relations between the two nations were tense owing to Bangladesh's new government pursuing a close relationship with the Soviet union which unlike, America at the time, supported the Bangladesh Liberation War in the UN Security Council. However, after the changeover of 1975, Bangladesh's military dictators condmned socialist policies of the Mujib era and pursued free market policies and moved towards closer relations with the United States. Since the restoration of democracy in 1991, relations have been further strengthened especially during visits by Bangladeshi and American leaders to each others' countries. US President Bill Clinton was the first American President to visit the impoverished Muslim democracy in 2000.

Bangladesh also contributed significantly to the Operation Desert Storm as part of the multi national coalition to liberate Kuwait where thousands of Bangladeshis were stranded under Iraqi occupation.

Today the relationship between the two countries are based on what is described by American diplomats as the "three Ds", meaning Democracy, Development and Denial of space for terrorism. The United States is closely working with Bangladesh in combating Islamic extremism and terrorism and is providing hundreds of millions of dollars every year in economic assistance.

The United States has also assisted Bangladesh during cyclone relief operations in 1991 and 2007. Operation Sea Angel One in 1991 nd Operation Sea Angel Two in 2007 saw US Marines actively joining Bangladeshi troops in providing relief to thousands of people in southern Bangladesh who suffered as a result of the 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone and Cyclone Sidr.

Principal U.S. Officials

James F. Moriarty, October 3, 2007. Official U.S. State Department photo

Diplomatic missions

The U.S. Embassy in located in Dhaka.

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).

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