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US hopes free, fair, peaceful polls in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Newlyappointed US Ambassador in Dhaka Robert Earl

Miller said his country expects the upcoming December 30 elections in

Bangladesh would be free, fair and credible as he paid a courtesy call on

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

We hope free, fair, credible and peaceful national elections will be held

in Bangladesh on December 30, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the

envoy as saying during the call on at PM's Ganabhaban residence this morning.

After the meeting, PM's Press Secretary briefed reporters.

The US ambassador informed the prime minister that his country will send

32 observers to monitor Bangladesh's upcoming national elections.

Eleven teams of the US embassy will observe the polls, he said.

The press secretary said the prime minister briefly described her party's

struggle in restoration of democracy in the country and said that it was only

Awami League government which handed over the power peacefully in 2001 in the

history of the country.

She said that before the 2014 elections, her government offered some

ministries to the opposition to join the polls time government, but instead

they resorted to violence, arson and killing people.

In response to opposition parties' allegations that their election campaign

is being attacked, Sheikh Hasina said two of her partymen also died in

violence during the current election campaign.

I have asked my partymen to keep patience in this regard, she added.

Regarding the Rohingya issue, the US envoy said that the Myanmar should

create an environment so that the Rohingyas could return to their homeland

safely.

The USA will continue its support to Bangladesh on Rohingya issue, he

said.

Terming the existing USABangladesh relations as strong, Miller said the

US wants to extend cooperation further between the two countries in energy

and education sectors.

The prime minister sought cooperation from the US ambassador to resume the

DhakaNew York flight.

Sheikh Hasina elaborated her government's steps for the development of

education sector and said the government is distributing free textbooks among

the students up to secondary level.

While talking about the country's economic progress, she said: If our

party is voted to power again, our target is to attain eight percent GDP

growth in the next fiscal.

PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Military Secretary Major

General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hasan were

present on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)