Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said sanctions imposed by the United States did not bring democracy to any country.
Momen said in his interactions with US officials, he wanted to know in which country the US was able to bring democracy by imposing sanctions. In reply, they said there is no evidence.
The foreign minister said this at a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin also spoke at the briefing.
Momen said he knows nothing about any likely new sanctions on individuals in Bangladesh, noting that the two countries are in regular discussions on various issues. “I cannot say. This is irrelevant.”
Responding to a question, he said President Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when she was in Washington DC recently, following her attendance at this year’s UN General Assembly.
Momen said those who had reported that the meeting in the Bangladesh Embassy in the US capital ended abruptly were liars, or living in a fool’s paradise.
“Such a liar….I have never heard such a big lie. Doesn’t he have the knowledge of what is true and false?
‘No desire to make special request to anyone to observe polls’
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh would not make any special request to anybody to send foreign observers but it stands ready to welcome if anyone wants to observe as the country is heading towards the next national election.
“We do not have any desire to request anyone specially to come,” he said when a reporter wanted to know whether Bangladesh will make a special request to the European Union (EU) to reconsider their position.
“We have the confidence to hold free and fair elections. We have made a commitment to that end. If anyone wants to come and see, we will welcome,” he added.
Momen said almost all the countries are now having financial crises and it is their issue whether they will send observers or not.
The Foreign Minister also said they want to see the elections free from violence but it requires sincere efforts from all the parties. “We will be very happy to see a violence-free election. We need to come out from this culture (of election-centric violence).”
The Election Commission in Bangladesh is taking preparations to hold the next election by January first week.
The government says the European Union’s decision not to send a full-fledged polls-time observation team will have no impact on Bangladesh’s next parliamentary election.
Meanwhile, from 8 to 12 October, the six-member joint delegation from the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) met with a diverse group of election stakeholders including government officials, political party leaders, election authorities, civil society, and others.
The pre-election assessment mission (PEAM), following the conclusion of its activities, will release a statement of its key findings, analysis of the pre-election environment, and practical recommendations to enhance the credibility of the process and citizen confidence in the elections.