Bangladesh Noble laureate Yunus' issue has room for compromise: U.S. official

08:45, March 21, 2011      

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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake Sunday said there is still room for compromise on the issue of Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus.

Blake said such a compromise would allow Bangladesh and the United States to continue the very good progress that has been made in bilateral relations.

He came up with the significant remarks about Dhaka-Washington future relations after an hour-long meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes at the Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, he had a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.

"I had a very good, productive and constructive meeting with Prime Minister Hasina. We discussed a wide range of issues on our bilateral agenda. We also discussed Yunus and I expressed our hope that a compromise will be found that will ensure the integrity and independence of the Grameen Bank," he told reporters after the meeting with the Foreign Secretary.

Blake said, "I hope a successful resolution can be found."

Prime Minister's press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters that the existing relation between Dhaka and Washington is "very good." He said both Hasina and Blake agreed the friendly relations between the two countries would be continued in the future as well.

Yunus was relieved from his position as the managing director in the Grameen Bank, with which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, on March 2 through a letter of the central bank of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Bank in its letter said Yunus did not seek its approval when he was reappointed as the managing director of the bank in 2000, violating one of the statutes of the partly state- owned Grameen Bank (GB).

Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith had earlier hinted that the 70-year-old Yunus should leave his position at GB as he had already exceeded the age limit to continue his job as a chief of a bank.

Muhammad Yunus on March 3 filed a writ petition with the country 's High Court challenging the government order. But a High Court Division bench of Bangladesh on March 8 dismissed his writ petition.

Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when microfinance pioneer of Bangladesh Yunus started his campaign to provide loans to the poor, who had always been overlooked by the traditional banks, from Jobra village in the country's southeastern Chittagong.

In October 1983, the Grameen Bank was transformed into an independent bank by government legislation. After development for a few decades, Grameen Bank has now 20,000 employees and nearly 10 million borrowers.

Source: Xinhua

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