Government Policy

Foreign diplomats better not comment on Bangladesh’s election, says foreign secretary

Bangladesh does not want its foreign friends make comment on its domestic affairs including on election issues.

It, however, sees nothing wrong in having interest about Bangladesh affairs by development partners, the foreign secretary said.

Bangladesh also wants to draw a line between showing interest in Dhaka’s affairs and giving “lecture” as the country sees comments from diplomats on election issues.

“Naturally, since they’re all our development partners, they might have interest,” said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, noting that having interest and giving lecture are not the same thing.

While responding to questions from reporters recently, the foreign secretary said the government will definitely warn them (foreign diplomats) if they cross the limit.

Recently, a number of diplomats made comments on impending national elections and in some cases, the diplomats responded only when reporters sought comments.

“If you keep seeking comments from foreigners on our own elections, they’ll feel encouraged to make comments,” said the FS adding that the diplomats are making comments as reporters are seeking their comments.

Masud Momen said they remain in touch with the diplomats based in Dhaka constantly and they sit with them on various issues.

“We’ll never want see any foreign country’s interference in our domestic affairs,” he added. “We all need to be more tolerant and we need to behave in such a way so that we can resolve those issues internally, if there is any problem, before we talk to the foreigners.”

One of the diplomats – British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson – has recently said with international partners, they support the “plural and transparent” democracy in Bangladesh provided in the Constitution, including urging a “fair and credible” process for the elections due at the end of 2023.

Source: United News of Bangladesh