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Ambassador Haas, Foreign Secretary Masud discussed ongoing developments: US Embassy

Dhaka, Nov 30: US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas had a meeting with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at State Guesthouse Padma this morning where they discussed ongoing developments in bilateral relations.

“Ambassador Haas and FS Momen had a routine meeting to discuss ongoing developments in the bilateral relationship,” US Embassy in Dhaka said after the meeting.

The meeting began around 11am and lasted for 30 minutes.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States, Muhammad Imran, was also present at the meeting.

Haas and Foreign Secretary Masud did not speak to the reporters waiting outside the venue.

The US ambassador returned to Dhaka on Monday after a holiday.

It is worth noting that the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC has said the political context of the US “Presidential Memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally” has many reasons “to be alarmed.”

“Politics is behind what is said about labor rights in the memorandum, and the US would try to use the political purpose in different ways,” said the embassy in a letter based on observation it made on the recently launched US initiative.

The US Presidential Memorandum was rolled out on 16 November.

The United States said it will work to “hold accountable those who threaten, intimidate, attack union leaders, labor rights defenders, labor organizations – including using things like sanctions, trade penalties and visa restrictions” – all the tools in their kit.

The “memorandum” is a signal for Bangladesh as the US may take any measure as described in it with the excuse of labor issues, the letter from Bangladesh embassy in Washington, seen by UNB, reads. “The memorandum may also have an impact on Bangladesh’s apparel sector, and it should be taken into cognizance with priority by the concerned stakeholders,” it said.

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