Sanctions on Former Bangladesh Army Chief Reflect U.S. Commitment to Democracy: Pentagon

The sanctions imposed against former Army Chief General (retired) Aziz Ahmed reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law in Bangladesh.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder stated this in response to a question from Pentagon-accredited correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey on June 25.   Ansarey sought clarification regarding U.S. strategy on military and security cooperation with Bangladesh, given the earlier sanctions on top officials from the security forces for gross human rights violations and significant corruption.

The correspondent noted in his question that Bangladesh was moving in the wrong direction, with extreme violations of human rights and democratic principles. He observed that the current regime was using security forces to maintain power by any means necessary.

In this light, he asked how the Pentagon was navigating its military and security partnership with Bangladesh.

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder welcomed Ansarey to the briefing room and reiterated that the public designation of former Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed in May for significant corruption underscored the U.S. commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and upholding the rule of law in Bangladesh.

The U.S. Department of Defense supports the anti-corruption efforts being undertaken in Bangladesh, Maj. Gen. Ryder added.

In his reply, Maj. Gen. Ryder further emphasized the importance of the Bangladesh-U.S. bilateral relationship, saying, “I would conclude by saying that the U.S. does have a close bilateral defense relationship with Bangladesh in support of shared values and interests, such as a free and open Indo-Pacific and maritime and regional security.

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