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Foreign relations of Bangladesh

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dipu Moni and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State De

Bangladesh pursues a moderate foreign policy that places heavy reliance on multinational diplomacy, especially at the United Nations. In 1974, Bangladesh joined both the Commonwealthof Nations and the United Nations, and has since been elected to serve two terms on the Security Council – in 1978–1979 and 2000–2001. In the 1980s,Bangladesh played a leadrole in founding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in order to expand relations with other South Asian states. Since the founding of SAARC 1985,a Bangladeshi has held the post of Secretary General on two occasions.
Bangladesh's most important and complex foreign relationship is with India . This relationship is formed byhistorical and cultural ties and is strengthened because of India's involvement in liberating the people of Bangladeshfrom Pakistan. This forms an important partof the domestic political discourse. Bangladesh's relationship with India began on a positive note because of India's assistance in the independence war and subsequent reconstruction. Throughout the years, the relationship betweenthe two countries has fluctuated for a number of reasons.
A major source of tension between Bangladesh and India is the Farakka Dam . In 1975, India constructed a dam on the Ganges River 10.3 mi (16.6 km) from the Bangladeshi border. Bangladesh alleges that the dam diverts much needed water from Bangladesh and adds a man-made disaster to a country already plagued by natural disasters. Thedam has had terrible ecological consequences. There are other sources of tension between the nations. India has voiced concerns about anti-Indian separatists and Islamic militants allegedly being harbouredacross their 2,597 mi (4,179 km) border, as well as the flow of illegalmigrants, and is building a fence along most of it. However, at the 2007 SAARC meeting, both nations pledged to work cooperatively on security, economic and border issues.
Bangladesh enjoys very warm ties with the People's Republic of China , and particularly in the past decade, there has been increased economiccooperation between them. Between 2006 and2007, trade between thetwo nations rose by 28.5% and there have been agreements to grant various Bangladeshi commoditiestariff-free access to theChinese market. Cooperation between the Military of Bangladesh and the People's Liberation Army is also increasing, with joint military agreements signed and Bangladesh procuring Chinese arms which range from small arms to large naval surface combat ships such as the Chinese Type 053H1 Missile Frigate.

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