wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09DHAKA849 2009-08-30 08:07:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

SCENESETTER FOR FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO

Tags:   PREL PGOV KDEM EAID PINR PTER BG 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4374
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHKA #0849/01 2420807
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 300807Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9380
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 000849 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/INSB AND SCA/FO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM EAID PINR PTER BG
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO
WASHINGTON: SETTING THE AGENDA

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

SUMMARY:
========



1. (C) Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dipu Moni's September
14 - 17 visit to Washington will be the highest level
bilateral meeting in almost three years and comes almost nine
months after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government took
office. As A/S Blake noted during his June visit to
Bangladesh, the newly elected administrations in Dhaka and
Washington have an opportunity to build upon the strong
foundation of a bilateral relationship focused on the "3 D's"
(Democracy, Development, and Denial of Space to Terrorists).
Looking ahead, the bilateral relationship should place
greater emphasis on emerging issues such as climate change,
women's empowerment, public-private partnership, food
security, and global health -- all areas where our interests
coincide. We suggest that these new areas of cooperation be
the centerpiece of the Foreign Minister's meeting with the
Secretary and other senior USG officials.

Who is Dipu Moni?
=================



2. (C) In a cabinet of relative newcomers, Dipu Moni stands
out as a rising star and one of the Prime Minister's closest
confidantes. Moni's recent elevation to Joint Secretary
General of the ruling Awami League is a further indication
that the Prime Minister is grooming the Foreign Minister for
future leadership within the party and government. Moni has
advanced due to a strong family political pedigree, a well
deserved reputation for academic brilliance, and absolute
loyalty to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the latter's
imprisonment by the 2007 -- 2009 Caretaker Government. Moni,
who has advanced degrees in law, medicine, and public health,
had previously served as the Awami League's party secretary
for women's affairs and was a surprise choice for Foreign
Minister. In her first months on the job, Moni has proven to
be a quick study and a valuable interlocutor, but still lacks
experience in Foreign Affairs. Her closest advisor is her
husband, one of Bangladesh's leading attorneys, who will be
accompanying her to Washington. Recently appointed Advisor
for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Gowher Rizvi, will likely serve as a
mentor for the Foreign Minister.

Bangladesh's Agenda
===================



3. (C) When she meets the Secretary September 16, the Foreign
Minister will likely stress the ruling Awami League's
democratic and secular credentials. Moni will contrast the
current regime with that led by the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party between 2001 - 2006, which the AL believes provided
shelter to extremists. The Foreign Minister will likely
stress her genuine personal commitment to human rights and
social justice and outline the "Vision 2021" which formed the
basis of the Awami League's election manifesto. Moni will
certainly request the Secretary's support for obtaining
enhanced market access for Bangladesh's ready-made garment
exports to the United States. She is also likely to request
debt relief in the form of a second tranche under the
Tropical Forests Conservation Act. We expect the Foreign
Minister to stress her government's commitment to partnering
with the U.S. and others to fight terrorism. She may link
this to the GOB's desire to try alleged 1971 war criminals
and bring to justice the killers of former President Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman. (Note: at least two of the alleged killers
are seeking asylum in the U.S., while a third was deported
back to Dhaka in 2007.)

USG Priorities
==============



4. (C) We recommend the Secretary stress the importance of
good governance (including fighting corruption) and highlight
our shared desire to combat transnational terrorism. The
Secretary should also highlight the importance of private
sector-led development and note the desire of major U.S.
corporations like Boeing, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, GE, and
Coca Cola to expand their presence in Bangladesh. Whether in
meeting Bangladesh's energy needs or providing much needed
jobs, these companies can help Sheikh Hasina's government
fulfill its election pledges but have all faced bureaucratic
obstacles since the AL came to power. As we seek to promote
greater public-private partnerships we should also seek to
leverage the Bangladeshi diaspora community in the United
States. In this regard, the Foreign Minister has expressed
interest in learning more about the possible establishment of

DHAKA 00000849 002 OF 002


a Bangladesh Foundation. In recent decades, Bangladesh's
non governmental sector has thrived, and NGOs such as Grameen
Bank and BRAC have received international acclaim for helping
to empower women, improve education and health, and fight
poverty. These achievements were exactly what President
Obama was referring to in his Cairo Speech when he spoke of
new partnerships with Muslim-majority countries.



5. (C) There are opportunities for the U.S. to work closely
with Bangladesh on global issues such as climate change, food
security, and global economic recovery. We should encourage
Bangladesh to continue its leading role in UN peacekeeping,
particularly in Africa, which has helped to improve the
prospects for stability in that continent. We have pressed
Bangladesh to add its voice to the growing number of states
that have recognized Kosovo's independence. We should look
forward to working with Bangladesh during the upcoming UNGA
session and in international conferences on climate change.

Comment
=======



6. (C) The Prime Minister often refers to her 1996 - 2001
term in office as the "golden age" of U.S.-Bangladesh
relations, which was capped by President Clinton's visit to
Dhaka. Since taking office, the Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister have clearly emphasized the importance they place on
strong U.S.-Bangladesh relations. At the same time, the
GOB's priority since January has been on domestic political
matters. With the GOB's focus now turning to defining
Bangladesh's role in the region and beyond, the Foreign
Minister's upcoming visit to Washington could not come at a
better time.
MORIARTY