Thank you, Ambassador Islam, for welcoming me. It is an honor to speak to you today on this momentous occasion of Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of independence. On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, I would like to extend my best wishes on Bangladesh’s Golden Jubilee.
The United States and Bangladesh both asserted their independence through hard-fought struggles, and the United States has been a friend to Bangladesh for nearly 50 years. We have worked together to deliver greater prosperity to both our nations and expand our relationship on multiple fronts including democracy, development, trade, and security. From the very beginnings of Bangladeshi independence, our countries invested in people-to-people and humanitarian ties that bind us to this day. We are proud of the partnership we have built over decades of collaboration.
As we shared commonalities in our earliest days, we will continue to build upon our commitment to democratic values and human rights as we work together to address some of the most challenging regional and global issues, from the Rohingya humanitarian crisis to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region. As demonstrated by President Biden’s letter to Prime Minister Hasina and the early calls from Secretary Blinken and Special Envoy Kerry to Foreign Minister Momen, we see Bangladesh as an important economic and security partner in the Indo-Pacific Region. Over the last year, our economic and security ties have deepened, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership in key areas of cooperation such as energy, information technology, and infrastructure.
We also look forward to working together to address the challenge of climate change. As the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the “Vulnerable Twenty” Group of Finance Ministers, Bangladesh has established itself as a leading voice on how climate change solutions must protect the most vulnerable. This leadership will contribute to a successful COP26.
We celebrate Bangladesh’s many great achievements as an independent nation, and we look forward to an even brighter future.