US interaction with govt not as usual: MozenaStaff Correspondent
The US ambassador in Dhaka, Dan W Mozena, on Tuesday said that US interaction with the government was not a business as usual but its support would continue for the people of Bangladesh and for strengthening democratic process.
He made the remarks referring to Tuesday’s hearing in the US senate on Bangladesh.
Briefing newsmen after meeting with Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office, Mozena said that at the very moment US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs Nisha Biswal was giving testimony before the US senate for foreign relation committee.
The envoy said he gave few views over it and Nisha would underscore US policy on Bangladesh after the January 5 parliamentary election.
He said that the election was flawed and not credible to the people of Bangladesh and Nisha would underscore the US view that there should be dialogue and a new election in Bangladesh.
She would underscore that political violence from any quarter was not acceptable and must be stopped and specially violence that affected minorities was not acceptable and must stop. Violence was not the part of democratic norms, he said.
Nisha would underscore that the government was obliged to make political space for opposition political parties and the opposition should use those space responsibly.
She would mention that US interaction with the government was not business as usual but its support would continue for people of Bangladesh and for strengthening democratic process.
Asked what would be the chemistry of business with the government, Mozena said the US would continue to engage with this government in support of all of its programmes for people of Bangladesh.
Other programmes would be considered on case by case basis, he said.
He thinks some of the programmes on parliament would end.
Asked about a report which stated, referring to a reportedly leaked diplomatic cable, that BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman’s ban in the US had earlier been recommended, Mozena said he would never make comment on allegation relating to a classified document.
Asked about midterm election, he said the prime minister already made statement for a dialogue and midterm election. He said it was a very good idea.
Mozena said that he had a comprehensive and very good meeting with Khaleda Zia and they had shared the preview of testimony of Nisha Biswal.
During the meeting they have discussed coming upazila election and strategy for leading opposition parties in the days ahead.
BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury said that Khaleda told Mozena that a dialogue between the Awami League and the BNP for holding an acceptable election was the only mean to overcome the present political uncertainty.
The meeting lasted for about an hour from 8:30pm.
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