President Iajuddin Ahmed Thursday expressed his confidence that free and fair elections would be held as in the past under the constitutionally guaranteed and time-tested caretaker government system.
He was talking to the newly appointed Ambassador of the United States of America to Bangladesh, Ms Patricia A. Butenis, when she presented her credentials to the President at Bangabhaban.
The President expressed his hope that all concerned would refrain from "confrontational politics" to uphold the economic interest of the country and the well being of the people.
He told the new US envoy that "Bangladesh is a functioning democracy with a track record of peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections".
Welcoming the new Ambassador, President Professor Iajuddin stated that Bangladesh greatly values its close and friendly relations with the USA and wants to further widen and deepen Bangladesh's cooperation with the USA in all areas of mutual interest.
President Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahmed reaffirmed Bangladesh's "unwavering support to the war on terror".
He mentioned that Bangladesh has become party to 12 out of 13 UN anti-terrorism conventions. "Bangladesh has also initiated consideration for accession to the international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism," the President told the US envoy.
He mentioned the achievements such as good governance, alleviation of poverty, micro-credits and education for girls.
The President reiterated Bangladesh's commitment to international peace and stability and its readiness to continue playing her sterling role in support of UN peacekeeping operations.
Bangladesh is the largest contributor to UN peace-support operations. "We live in religious and social harmony," he said.
President Professor Dr Iajuddin conveyed greetings to US President George W Bush through the Ambassador and invited him to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time.
The newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh said that relation between Bangladesh and the USA is excellent. She mentioned that Bangladesh is a role model as a democracy and Muslim country.
Ambassador MS Patricia A Butenis appreciated the role of Bangladesh in regional cooperation, especially the inclusion of Afghanistan as a member of the association, and expressed US interest in joining SAARC as observer.
On a suggestion from the President, she assured that the US government would do everything to expand the opportunity for Bangladeshi students for higher studies in American universities.
She expressed her satisfaction at the success of recent anti-terrorist actions by Bangladesh government.
On her arrival at Bangabhaban, the Ambassador was given a guard of honour by the President's Guard Regiment. She took salute and inspected the parade.
Secretary to the President Abu Md Maniruzzaman Khan, MSP Major General ANM Muniruzzaman, press secretary M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury, acting Foreign Secretary AHM Moniruzzaman, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy Judith A Chamas, USAID Mission Director Gene V George and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy in Dhaka were present.