Agence France Presse
Dhaka, June 5:
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived here today for a short visit during which he is expected to raise the possibility of troops from the Muslim-majority nation being sent to Iraq. Rumsfeld, who arrived from Singapore, is due to make a one-night stop in Bangladesh, one of the worldâ€™s largest participants in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
He was greeted at Dhakaâ€™s airport by Foreign Minister Morshed Khan and US ambassador Harry Thomas. Rumsfeld was expected to meet the press after talks with Khan and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. A senior Bangladeshi official said this week that â€œasking Bangladesh for troops to be stationed in Iraq after an Iraqi administration is in placeâ€ is expected to be discussed during the visit. In Singapore Rumsfeld had said the United States was engaged in a â€œtest of willsâ€ in Iraq and warned the alternative was civil war, a territorial breakup or the emergence of a â€œjunior versionâ€ of Saddam Hussein. Bangladesh opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly said it would only send troops to Iraq under UN auspices.