The U.S.-Bangladesh relations were experiencing stress, and “not comfortable,” said Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith, at a press conference here on Saturday. Saying that “the U.S. has opposed Bangladesh from its very birth,” the outspoken Minister alleged that Bangladesh’s development or its needs were never priorities for Washington.

The key Minister, who is leading the Finance Ministry for the second consecutive term as an influential member of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Cabinet, also claimed that the U.S. was refusing Bangladesh duty and quota privileges for “political reasons.”

Returning home after a visit to the U.S. and Mexico, the Minister said the country currently exports readymade garments worth $3.4 billion to the U.S. and duties were being paid for one third of the products. A close friend-turned critic of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, who is in the midst of a protracted tussle with the Sheikh Hasina government over the Grameen Bank, Mr. Muhith said the U.S. sees Mr. Yunus as an “honourable man and they will be pleased if he is given respect.”

‘Worried only about Yunus’

“They are not worried about anything else in Bangladesh except Yunus.”

Claiming that whatever actions taken against Dr. Yunus were “under the law of the land,” he said Dr. Yunus went to court but he lost the case.