The United States (US) and Bangladesh share a vision to ensure a free, open and connected Indo-Pacific region, said the US Department of State yesterday.
"United States and Bangladesh share a vision to ensure the Indo-Pacific region is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient," US Department of State Spokesperson Mathew Miller said during a briefing on Tuesday (12 September).
"That's the intent of our Indo-Pacific strategy and that is our position," he added.
Miller's comments came following a question about Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov saying Moscow would prevent any attempt to establish dictates and interference by the US in the region during his recent visit to Bangladesh before attending the G20 summit in India.
"I would say with respect to Russia, a country that has invaded two of its neighbours, is prosecuting an aggressive war where it bombs schools and hospitals and apartment buildings on a daily basis, should not be talking about any other country imposing dictates. It's a fairly – it's not the most self-aware comment that Sergey Lavrov has ever made," Miller added.
Answering a question about journalists getting prosecuted in Bangladesh, the State Department spokesperson said: "We believe, as we have said on a number of occasions, that journalists play an essential role in any democracy. Their work uncovers corruption, safeguards the public's right to know information that affects their lives. They need to be able to make the public aware of the issues that they face in their daily lives. They need to ensure accountability for elected officials the way that you all show up and ensure accountability for what I say here every day."
"They must be able to do their jobs without fear of harassment, violence, or intimidation," he added.
He also said the US is concerned with the "Government of Bangladesh's systematic and pervasive oppression of journalists and media personalities who attempt to hold the government accountable."