Government Policy

It’s US politics to keep countries under pressure in the name of democracy: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday said it is the American politics to keep countries under pressure with different issues like democracy, good governance and terrorism.

“If there’s any weakness (in our democracy), we’ll try to address it. Let’s think how we can do that,” he told reporters, noting that there is nothing to worry about for not being invited by the United States for its Summit for Democracy.

After visiting the under construction export cargo complex of Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, Dr Momen said the US wants to keep countries under pressure while talking about democracy, good governance and terrorism. “That’s their politics. So, nothing to be worried about whether you’re being invited or not.”

On Thursday, Dr Momen said Bangladesh maintains a “very stable and transparent” democracy and the US might have invited those countries with weak democracies for its Summit for Democracy.

“We’ve had a stable democracy over the last several years, a very clear and transparent democracy. Free and fair voting is happening,” he said.

Dr Momen said there is nothing to be worried as the people of Bangladesh will work for further strengthening the democracy, if required.

He said the US itself faced problems in the recent past despite being an old democracy.

Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has made it clear that renewing democracy in the United States and around the world is essential to meet the unprecedented challenges of time.

President Joe Biden stated on the International Day of Democracy, “No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work.”

On December 9-10, President Biden will host the first of two Summits for Democracy, which will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.

The virtual summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal, according to White House.

It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.”

South Asian countries India, Pakistan and Nepal made to the list of invitees.

Other South Asian countries dropped from the list of invitees are Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, according to the list published by the White House.

A total of 110 countries will be joining the virtual summit.

Israel, considered a major non-Nato ally by the US, and Iraq are the only two countries invited from the Middle East. Meanwhile, traditional Arab allies of the US — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE — have not been invited.

The list also includes Brazil even though its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has long been condemned for his far-right views and was a staunch supporter of the controversial former US president Donald Trump.

Regarding the UP polls violence Dr Momen said efforts are on to ensure that no death occurs during the future elections.

He said after the completion of works at Osmani International Airport, direct flights will be operated from here and people from India’s Northeast will be able to use it as well.

Dr Momen said the government has brought six cargo machines for Dhaka airports but Sylhet’s one is the first one to be installed which is good news.

“Earlier people of Sylhet had to take their cargo goods to Dhaka airport for checking which increased their shipment costs but now they will be able to ship their goods directly from here”, he said.

The Foreign Minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the decision of buying some cargo aircraft to operate dedicated cargo flights from Bangladesh.

He said above 100 tonnes of cargo goods can be stationed at the almost completed cargo terminal of the Osmani Airport.

Source: United News of Bangladesh