A three-member delegation from the US Institute of Peace (USIP) held discussions with leaders of the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh, raising questions about the party’s relations with China and India.
The meeting took place at the political office of Awami League president Sheikh Hasina in Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The USIP delegation consisted of Geoffrey Macdonald, an expert on South Asia, Dan Markey, a senior adviser, and Isha Gupta, a research analyst.
The talks encompassed various topics, including Bangladesh’s foreign policy and its role in the context of the ongoing political crisis in the region. The USIP delegates sought insights into Awami League’s relations with India and China, as well as the government’s connections with other South Asian countries. Awami League’s international affairs secretary, Shammi Ahmed, emphasized that Bangladesh’s foreign policy is rooted in the principle of friendship with all and malice towards none, a legacy from the country’s founding leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The discussions also touched on Bangladesh’s economic partnership with China, with the delegates recognizing China as an economic powerhouse. Regarding India, Awami League reiterated its regard for India as a tested friend, particularly for its support during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. However, discussions about India’s internal affairs, such as the rise of Hinduism, were noted as a matter for the Indian people, and Awami League emphasized its non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.