US President Joe Biden has extolled Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “empathy and generosity” for the world by hosting one million Rohingya refugees.
“Bangladesh has opened its arms and welcomed nearly one million Rohingya refugees. You set an example for the world of empathy and generosity in practice,” he wrote in a letter on the 43rd Independence Day of Bangladesh.
The US embassy in Dhaka released the letter on Monday.
The US President also shared his commitment to finding long-term solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis and holding perpetrators of atrocities accountable.
“On behalf of the United States, I wish you and the people of Bangladesh a happy Independence Day. The Bangladeshi people understand deeply the value of freedom and independence as they fought courageously in 1971 to choose their own fate and to speak their own language,” Biden wrote.
“As Bangladesh approaches its next election, I am reminded of the deep value both of our nations’ people place on democracy, equality, respect for human rights and free and fair elections.
“We applaud Bangladesh’s demonstrated commitment to protecting the most vulnerable as the largest contributor to peacekeeping operations.
“We thank Bangladesh for co-hosting the Global Action Plan ministerial that significantly elevated the political commitment to end the global pandemic.
“Bangladesh has opened its arms and welcomed nearly one million Rohingya refugees. You set an example for the world of empathy and generosity in practice.
“We share a commitment to finding long-term solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis and holding perpetrators of atrocities accountable.
“In over 50 years of diplomatic relations, the United States and Bangladesh have achieved a lot together – advancing economic development, strengthening people-to-people ties, addressing global health and climate issues, partnering on the humanitarian response to Rohingya refugees, and committing to a prosperous, secure, democratic, and independent Bangladesh. On this day of celebration, please accept my sincere wishes to you and the people of Bangladesh,” read the letter.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent congratulatory messages on the occasion of the 53rd Independence Day and said “Bangladesh has many reasons to be proud”.
“With a rapidly growing economy, an increasingly well-educated workforce, and a dynamic youth demographic, Bangladesh is quickly becoming a regional leader,” he said on the occasion of March 26.
“By generously welcoming Rohingya fleeing genocide, you have demonstrated your humanitarian commitment to sheltering vulnerable refugees.
“By developing adaptation strategies to the climate crisis, you have shown leadership in protecting the environment and strengthening climate resilience,” read his message.
The Secretary of State said the United States is proud of its partnership with Bangladesh and of the resulting achievements made over the last five decades.
“Most recently, we have made real strides together battling COVID-19, tackling climate change, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region. We commit to working with you in support of free and fair elections, open to all,” he said.