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'Bangladesh has no plan to withdraw peacekeepers'

  • Published at 08:47 pm June 12th, 2016

“The Bangladeshi troops are conducting peacekeeping operation in the conflict zones and their activities are praised all over the world. We do not have any plan to withdraw any troop from anywhere,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official on condition of anonymity. The official made the comment after media reports suggested that Bangladesh had threatened UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the withdrawal of its peacekeepers from UN peacekeeping missions. When asked about a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Ban Ki-moon last week, the official said there was a phone call but not a single word was exchanged on peacekeeping operation as the context of the phone call was different. During his stay in Riyadh last week, the foreign minister made a phone a call to Ban to request the UN secretary general to reverse the decision of blacklisting of a Saudi-led coalition for killing children in Yemen. The Foreign Ministry official said the conversation started with the Mahmood Ali requesting the UN chief to attend the Global Forum on Migration and Development to be held in Dhaka in December this year. The minister then told Ban that the blacklist report related to the Saudi coalition should be evidence-based and the coalition should be removed from the blacklist, the official added. However, when Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque was contacted about the telephone conversation, he declined to comment. On Friday, in a press conference at the UN, a reporter asked a question on withdrawal of Bangladeshi peacekeepers from South Sudan and in reply Ban's Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said: “I am not aware of [such] statements being made to the UN.”