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Govt had no prior info about Priya Saha’s stance: Momen
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

Govt had no prior info about Priya Saha’s stance: Momen

Dhaka, July 24 – Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday said the foreign ministry did not know anything how Priya Saha, who made remarks to US President on religious persecution in Bangladesh, went to USA.He has also adviced to the US organisers that as US want freedom of religion they should invited responsible persons to avert such controversy over religion.
“Many Bangladeshi nationals including Priya Saha went to America to attend different conferences on religious affairs. We don’t know how they had gone. They don’t need any permission form us. Any Bangladesh having US visa can go to USA,” he said.
The foreign minister came up with the comments while talking to the journalists at his office in the capital.
“We have seen the meeting of these persons including Priya Saha with President Trump on the Youtube. Earlier we did not know anything. During my stay in Washington to attend a religious conference, we have told the US assistant secretary of State and others about it that such speech is baseless and fictitious,” Momen said.
“An assistant secretary in USA over telephone asked me whether we would arrest Priya Saha or file cases against her for such comment. I said, no. Priya has given her comments. As her comments on religious persecution are baseless and fictitious, many people of our country are dissatisfied. If she wants any protection from us, we would give her protection. Our government provides protection to all citizens,” he added.
In reply to a query how she went to America, he said, “We have seen a video of Priya Saha where she told that the US organisers had invited her. As the US government wants freedom of religion, and to create a harmonious world, our advice to the organisers that if they invite responsible persons it will not create controversy.”
“We would remain happy if the organisers take the initiatives before invitation,” he added.
The minister also said, “Nobody has taken any ‘no objection certificate’ from us while going to USA this time. One of the newspaper published report that Priya Saha was in our entourage. There were only three persons including I from my office who went to USA. Such false information is unfortunate.”
“Different kinds of rumours are spreading. Whenever any country starts development, many people don’t like it and starts spreading rumour. Such things are happening in Bangladesh,” he added.
Asked about what is the stance of Bangladesh government over Priya Saha, he said, “I cannot say what the government will do. But my personal opinion is that we ignore all these. I don’t think Bangladesh government will arrest her.”
The minister also said that Bangladesh is an ideal state for religious harmony in the world. Sometimes some people try to use religion for personal gain, he added. – Staff Reporter