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US to Help Bangladesh Fight Terrorism

The new U.S. ambassador to Dhaka says the United States will help Bangladesh to fight terrorism and hold free and fair national elections early next year.

Ambassador Patricia Butenis told reporters fighting terrorism is a priority not just for Bangladesh, but for the entire world.

She said the U.S. is giving training and technical assistance to Bangladesh to tackle terrorism and help make laws against money laundering and financing terrorism.

The ambassador also urged Bangladesh's rival political parties to stop fighting in the streets and hold talks to resolve their differences and ensure free and fair elections next year.

The opposition Awami League wants election reforms but refuses to talk with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia because she insists that talks include the fundamentalist Jamat-e-Islami, a partner in her coalition government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.