Foreign diplomats press govt-BNP dialogue

Foreign diplomats press govt-BNP dialogue

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Several Dhaka-based foreign diplomats have urged the government to keep open the option of holding dialogue with opposition BNP on the modalities of future general election. The diplomats’ call came at a briefing arranged by the Foreign Ministry at the State guesthouse Padma on Wednesday. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam MP briefed the diplomats. Ambassadors and representatives of 13 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Holy See, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland and the USA and United Nations Resident Coordinator(UNRC) of the UN in Bangladesh were present. The Foreign Minister ruled out any dialogue with BNP unless it severs ties with Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Liberation. Gowher Rizvi said dialogue with the BNP on the modalities of future election will not be fruitful unless the opposition party acts responsibly to negotiate within the constitutional, parliamentary and legal framework. He urged the international community to support the course of normalcy and political stability in the country to move forward with the long term goals of mutual interest and development. Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali said, “The government looks towards a fresh engagement with the international community for realizing the vision for a secular, democratic, stable and socio-economically vibrant Bangladesh.” He thanked the envoys for support of their governments and organizations to the newly formed government following the10th parliamentary elections. Mahmood ali reaffirmed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is determined to boost the political, economic and development cooperation with foreign governments both bilaterally and multilaterally. The foreign envoys conveyed support in sustaining the socio-economic normalcy in Bangladesh. HT Imam briefed the envoys on the law and order situation in the country. About the seven murders in Narayanganj he said the government remains unequivocal in punishing whoever is guilty regardless of their party ranks and affiliation. He also said the government would maintain zero impunity to members of law enforcement agencies, if they are found guilty. The adviser briefed the envoys of the prompt actions the government has taken to apprehend the suspects. He mentioned formation of a seven-member probe committee, joint investigation team comprising Detective Branch and CID, public hearings of witnesses, dismissal of RAB members and warrant for their arrest, formation of RAB’s own investigation team. – UNB

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