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‘US won’t back those who won’t join polls’

Published : 04 Oct 2023 10:49 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said the political parties which intend not to participate in the Bangladesh’s upcoming general elections would not get any US backing.

“America will not be with parties which would not join the polls,” he said in his first interaction with newsmen hours after his return home from the United States and UK along with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

   Momen said Washington believes that election is the only way to change any government and “we also want democratic government”.

   Momen said: “They (US) told us that they are not supporting any particular (political) party (in Bangladesh either).”

   The foreign minister said the US declared the new visa policy to help the Bangladesh government to conduct a free, fair and violence free election.

   “They (the US) believe in democracy, they want democratic government,(and) we also want democratic government,” he added.

   Responding to a question related to the new US visa policy for Bangladesh, the minister said every country has their own visa policy and Bangladesh does have its own as well (as) we don’t give visa to everyone”.

   He said if necessary Bangladesh could also impose sanctions on other countries.

   “We can also give sanction to those who will give sanction to us, can’t we? Of course we can,” Momen said.

   Momen reiterated the government views that it was no reason to worry about the US visa policy while it mounted no pressure on Dhaka.

   Replying to a question, the foreign minister said if necessary Bangladesh can also impose sanctions on other countries.     

   Asked if Dhaka was preparing to issue any such visa sanction for other countries the foreign minister said, “If require we will (impose sanction), what’s so hurry! You will know it at right time”.      

   Replying to another query, the foreign minister said during the visit in the US and the UK, the Bangladesh delegation headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina interacted with many foreigners on different matters. 

   He said Bangladesh has multifaceted relations with the US and the two countries routinely discuss issues like climate change, regulated migration, Rohingya crisis and security issues.

   Momen also said many countries including the USA, France, the UK and other countries from Europe come to Bangladesh for selling their own products.  

    Responding to a question, he said, if people cast their votes that will be considered as free and fair election. 

   “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has the courage and she has the confidence (to hold free, fair polls),” Momen added.