Senior ministers sound alarm over foreign interference

Government does not want any other country getting involved in Bangladesh's internal affairs, says FM Momen

Senior ministers of the Bangladesh government on Monday urged foreign powers not to interfere in the internal matters of the country.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said the government does not want any other country getting involved in Bangladesh's internal affairs.

"We are a mature country. We are a sovereign country. We are an independent country," he told reporters while responding to questions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When asked whether his message applies to all countries, Momen said: "Yes, no matter who."

The foreign minister made the remarks when his attention was drawn to recent comments by both the US and Russia regarding the incident in Shaheenbagh involving US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas on December 14.

Momen said that other countries do not need to give prescriptions to Bangladesh on democracy and human rights, as both are deeply rooted in Bangladesh's DNA.

He said the current government is committed to holding free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections under the independent Election Commission.

The foreign minister also said Bangladesh welcomes constructive suggestions from foreign friends.

Responding to a question on the formal inauguration of Dhaka metro rail, Momen said the government remains grateful to Japan for its uninterrupted support despite the Holey Artisan attack that left over 20 foreign nationals, including Japanese citizens, dead.

In a separate press briefing, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the government will resolve the internal issues of the country, and foreign diplomats have to abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention in this regard.

“Foreign diplomats won't bring anyone to power; the country's people will. Foreign diplomats have to follow the Geneva Convention when they talk about the internal affairs of our country. It's the government which will solve the country's problems, not them,” he said.

Quader, general secretary of the ruling Awami League (AL), added that the  government does not promote terrorist activities, such as the torching of vehicles and shops.

“We're always alert to prevent any kind of terrorism. We will take necessary steps if anyone creates chaos and suffering for the people. The law enforcement agencies are always active in tackling  violence,” the minister added.