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Bangladesh Ruling, Opposition Parties Agree to New Talks

  • VOA News

Bangladesh's ruling party and its main opposition have agreed to hold a new round of talks October 23rd to discuss a set of reform proposals.

The rival parties have failed to reach an agreement after five rounds of talks.

The ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is set to hand over power to an interim administration later this month, clearing the way for the general elections.

The opposition Awami League has accused some members or the interim administration of pro-government bias. The opposition and its allies have threatened to boycott the January parliamentary vote unless their demands are met.

Meanwhile, the United States called for "free, fair, non-violent and credible" elections in Bangladesh.

In a statement, the US State Department said the vote is a critical opportunity to strengthen the country's democratic institutions and governance.

On Thursday, US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns met with Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Hemayetuddin at the State Department.

Burns stressed the importance of Bangladesh in USforeign policy. He also thanked Dhaka for its efforts in combating terrorism.

Hemayetuddin said Bangladesh considers the US a close and trusted friend, and that strong and friendly bilateral relations are an important part of Bangladeshi foreign policy.

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