Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy and the Bay of Bengal Initiative
with Ambassador Tariq Karim
On April 7, 2022, NBR held its fifteenth President’s Circle dialogue with special guest and accomplished diplomat Ambassador Tariq Karim, former Bangladeshi ambassador to the United States and Iran, as well as Bangladeshi High Commissioner to India.
NBR President Roy Kamphausen began with an overview of the most critical issues in the Indo-Pacific region for the past month. He began by discussing recent North Korean missile tests following the election of Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative People Power Party to be president of the Republic of Korea as well as a tense meeting between leaders of the European Union and China which was described as a “dialogue of the deaf.” He then examined the implications of the recently initialed security cooperation agreement between the Solomon Islands and China, the first of its kind for Beijing with any Pacific Island country. Finally, he touched on the West’s continued frustration with India’s unwillingness to impose sanctions on Moscow, as well as the lessons that Taiwan and China have been taking from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In the second half of the event, Ambassador Karim traced the trajectory of Bangladesh’s development since achieving independence in 1971, sharing many of his own experiences supporting Bangladesh’s foreign policy over this period. He also described the vision for his Bay of Bengal initiative, a means to integrated transportation, trade, and development in the vital Bay of Bengal area.
Ambassador Karim joined Mr. Kamphausen in NBR’s Washington, D.C., office while the remainder of the audience attended the dialogue virtually, calling in from across the United States and Asia.