Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has described Bangladesh's relationship with the United States as "outstandingly warm and cordial," but noted that some quarters are trying to inject bitterness into this relationship through lies.
The foreign minister said that the United States believes in democracy and human rights.
"So, there is similarity in our views and thoughts with the United States. In principle, the two countries have similarities. However, some individuals may not appreciate our development," Momen said, calling upon the Bangladeshi expatriates in the United States to be vigilant.
He urged the Bangladeshi diaspora to take a stand, regardless of their political affiliation, to challenge those who lie about Bangladesh.
The foreign minister was speaking at a views-exchange meeting organized by the Bangabandhu Foundation in New York's Bangladeshi-dominated Jackson Heights on September 26.
The foreign minister said, "We have remarkably friendly relations with the United States. America believes in the same principles and values we believe in. Bangladesh is the country where we have fought for democracy. Although we won the popular vote, we were not allowed to form the government in 1971. Rather, genocide was unleashed on us, and then Bangabandhu declared independence."
Momen said Bangladesh declared independence to establish democracy, justice, and human rights.
"Because of this, we had to sacrifice three million lives during the Liberation War. Nowhere in the world have so many people sacrificed themselves for democracy and human rights in such a short period of time. We are the only nation in the world that has made such great sacrifices for democracy and human rights," he added.
Referring to the replacement of the Digital Security Act, he said, the government accepted the suggestions provided by the United States as a friendly country.
"The United States expects free and fair elections, and we are also committed to free and fair elections. But there are some people in our country who want to boycott the elections, they fear elections," the foreign minister said, referring to the opposition, that they are trying to thwart the election.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh is now the 35th largest economy in the world.
"If Bangladesh's current economic development continues, we will become the 26th largest economy in a few years. We have 17 crore people, so our own market is huge. That's why many people are interested in our country, because our per capita income has increased 5 times," he said.
Momen said the poverty rate has been reduced by more than half. "All these have become possible due to the implementation of goal-oriented measures of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
Momen also said, "We are now self-sufficient in food. We are third in the world in fish and vegetable production. We are fourth in the world in rice production. Our agricultural land has shrunk, but food production has quadrupled. This has been possible due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
Momen said as Bangladesh is making progress, many people do not like the development activities of the country.
"We are an independent, sovereign country. Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given us a beautiful foreign policy. And this principle is 'friendship to all, malice to none.' We believe in this principle. We follow a balanced foreign policy," said the foreign minister.
Bangabandhu Foundation United States unit General Secretary Abdul Quader Mia was present at the event as a special guest. Other leaders including Moshiur Malek, Fakir Ilyas, Abdul Khalek Mia, New York Correspondent of Bangladesh Protidin Lovelu Ansar were present.