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2024-06-18 16:07:02

Peter Haas quits over US’s Bangladesh policy shift: The Mirror Asia

Online Desk

Peter Haas quits over US’s Bangladesh policy shift: The Mirror Asia

Peter D Haas, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, has resigned from his position at the State Department in protest of a sudden shift in US foreign policy regarding Bangladesh’s general elections.

“His resignation comes as a response to Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu’s policy on Bangladesh,” a diplomat in Dhaka told news media The Mirror Asia (TMA).

In the run-up to Bangladesh's January 7 polls, Ambassador Haas was outspoken about the need to restore democracy in the country.

During this period, he was allegedly attacked by ruling Awami League supporters at an event organized by Mayer Daak, an organization formed by relatives of victims of enforced disappearances.

But things changed in December when the US made a policy shift towards Bangladesh as it didn’t want to earn the ire of its Indo-pacific closest ally India. Consequently, the US ceased actively pursuing democratic reforms in Bangladesh.

Despite allegations of election engineering by the ruling party, no significant US sanctions were imposed on Bangladesh or individuals as promised. This policy shift led to criticism and mockery of Haas from some Indian diplomats.

However, resigning from such a position in protest of the US's shifting foreign policy is not new.

For example, Victoria Nuland unexpectedly resigned from her position as US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, protesting the American policy regarding Ukraine in March.

Hala Rharrit, a former Arab-language spokesperson in the State Department who resigned in protest over US policy toward Israel in April is another example.

A new US ambassador to Dhaka will be appointed soon after a Congressional hearing.


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