During their call, Antony Blinken and Abdul Momen discussed Myanmar, a durable solution to the Rohingya refugee crisis, and the importance of respect for labour and human rights

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and the two leaders discussed ways to deepen economic, defence and counterterrorism cooperation while agreeing to work together to address challenges in South Asia and the greater Indo-Pacific region.

Mr. Blinken called Mr. Momen over the phone on Feb. 23. During their call, they discussed Myanmar, a durable solution to the Rohingya refugee crisis, and the importance of respect for labour and human rights.

Mr. Blinken and Mr. Momen discussed ways to deepen economic, counterterrorism, and defence cooperation, and work together to address common challenges such as climate change, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout of the call.

“Blinken congratulated Foreign Minister Momen on Bangladesh’s fiftieth anniversary of independence in 2021, and both leaders expressed the desire for closer collaboration to address challenges in South Asia and the greater Indo-Pacific region,” Mr. Price said.

“Good to speak with Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and congratulate him on Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of independence. We affirmed the strong, enduring U.S.-Bangladesh relationship and look forward to working together to address challenges in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Blinken said in a tweet.

India, the U.S. and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.

In 2017, India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the “Quad” or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

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