Remarks on Bangladesh

Robert O. Blake, Jr.
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Dhaka, Bangladesh
February 16, 2012

Obviously we condemn any attempt at a coup here in Bangladesh and we support the current government. With respect to your question about the upcoming elections, we believe that it is incumbent upon the two parties, the Awami League and the BNP to reach an agreement between them on a mechanism that can ensure a free, fair, credible and participatory election.

I had a wonderful visit today to one of the Grameen villages outside of Dhaka and I had a chance to see first-hand the wonderful impact that Grameen Bank has had on the lives of millions of Bangladeshis and how it has given them healthcare and education and livelihood opportunities that are really a model, not only for the rest of Bangladesh but for other countries. So, I really salute Grameen Bank and, with respect to your question, I think that all of us have an interest in seeing that the most eminently qualified person is chosen as a successor to Dr. Yunus and we all hope to see somebody who will ensure the continued integrity and effectiveness of Grameen Bank and ensure that the interests of all of its shareholders, particularly all of these women we saw today are protected.