Free and fair elections in Bangladesh "must include a level playing field" for all participants, including political parties, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Monday on conclusion of US Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter's two-day visit here.
The US official and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas met with representatives of Bangladesh's three major political parties – Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party.
Before leaving Dhaka, Afreen Akhter had a breakfast meeting with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at a city hotel on Monday.
"Absolutely, there is trust and respect for each other," she said referring to her meeting with political leaders.
She highlighted the cooperation between Bangladesh and the US in a whole range of areas including health, climate and economic cooperation.
Talking to reporters, Foreign Secretary Masud said they talked about a number of issues and it was "not an election-centric" discussion.
"Our USAID mission is working very closely with the civil society actors across Bangladesh to support their efforts to provide free and fair elections in Bangladesh," Akhter told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (6 November).
During her meeting with Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, the US official discussed maritime security and how they can cooperate with Bangladesh and other forms of maritime cooperation in the region during the meeting.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) for Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives, as well the Office of Security and Transnational Affairs most recently served as a Senior Adviser to SCA Assistant Secretary Don Lu.
Previously, Akhter was the National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser to US Senator Chris Van Hollen.