Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has questioned the position of the United States as it talks about humanity pointing out that the country has been sheltering convicted killer Rashed Chowdhury instead of handing him over to Bangladesh.
He said the US talks about “law and humanity” but they sheltered the killer (Rashed Chowdhury) of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which is not justified.
The Foreign Minister made the remarks while talking to reporters after an event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city on Saturday.
Asked about any counter-action on the US, Dr Momen said they are not thinking in such a way and that is not the mentality of Bangladesh.
He said Bangladesh does not believe in blame games but wants to work together. “We want to work together.”
Dr Momen said they are discussing internally about the next course of action. “We’ll sit together soon to decide to move ahead.”
He said the Rabid Action Battalion (RAB) has been successful in addressing human trafficking, crime and drug trafficking in the country.
Earlier, Dr Momen, during a telephone conversation, conveyed to US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken that the people of Bangladesh did neither accept nor like the designated sanctions imposed on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and its some of the present and former officials.
“I shared the spirit of the country’s people. They (people of Bangladesh) didn’t accept it. They didn’t like it,” he told reporters at a media briefing at Foreign Service Academy recently while responding to a question on his recent telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State.
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Secretary Blinken reaffirmed their long-standing partnership with Bangladesh on development, economic growth, and security.
“The two leaders discussed the importance of human rights and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and address shared global challenges,” said the Spokesperson.
Dr Momen explained why the people of the country did not accept it, noting that the two countries have around 50 years of trusted friendship.
“We discuss all the issues through a number of dialogue platforms. We resolved all issues with our neighbours through discussion. Naturally, we had an expectation that you would inform us beforehand in case of taking any decision. We didn’t like it,” said the Foreign Minister what he conveyed to his US counterpart.
Dr Momen described RAB as a “very disciplined force free from corruption” and said the RAB is working very efficiently as the US has taken a number of initiatives globally against terrorism, human trafficking, crimes and war against drugs.
He said no terrorist attacks took place in Bangladesh after the Holey Artisan incident due to RAB’s efficient handling of the issues.
“People have a lot of confidence in RAB,” Dr Momen said, adding that neither side did talk about withdrawal of the sanctions but laid emphasis on discussions.
In reply, the US Secretary of State said they will discuss and there are scopes for working together in many areas like human rights, democracy, peacekeeping and climate change, said the Foreign Minister.
“I told him that we’re a democratic country,” Dr Momen said, adding that Bangladesh gives much importance on strengthening democracy and addressing human rights issues as the country has a good reputation worldwide.
The Foreign Minister said there are many ongoing dialogue mechanisms between the two countries and suggested the US Secretary of State to call if there are any problems and they are likely to have a meeting in Washington in the coming Spring.
“He was very positive, I should say, the way he responded to us. We’ve a good rapport I should say,” Dr Momen said.
Earlier, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller was summoned by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen to convey Dhaka’s “discontent” over the designated sanctions imposed by the US Departments of Treasury and of State on some of the present and former officials of the RAB.
Foreign Secretary Momen expressed Bangladesh’s disappointment that the decision was taken “unilaterally” by the US Administration without any prior consultation with the Government of Bangladesh.
Source: United News of Bangladesh