US secretary of state's remarks baseless and false, says Foreign Ministry
Dhaka has binned the claim of the United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo that terrorist outfit al-Qaeda carried out attacks from Bangladesh, and more future attacks likely in future.
In a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday night, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the remarks as baseless and false.
"Attention of the Government of Bangladesh has been drawn to a recent statement made by the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo. In the statement, Mr. Pompeo mentioned Bangladesh as a place where the terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out attacks, falsely apprehending similar terrorist attacks in future," it said.
"Such irresponsible comments by a senior leader are very unfortunate and unacceptable.”
The statement further said: "Bangladesh strongly rejects this kind of baseless remarks and falsification. There is no evidence of any presence of al-Qaeda in Bangladesh."
Bangladesh, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, maintains a “zero tolerance” policy against all forms of terrorism and violent extremism, and has been undertaking all possible measures and actions to address the menace, the Foreign Ministry statement said.
"Our track record in countering terrorism has earned us global appreciation. In line with our commitment to countering terrorism, we have become a party to all fourteen international counter-terrorism conventions and are actively involved with international ‘preventive’ initiatives to counter terrorism," it further added.
Bangladesh considers that the US secretary of state’s referring to Bangladesh as a possible location for al-Qaeda operations, is indeed unfounded and offers no evidence, the statement said.
If any such claim could be substantiated with evidence, the Bangladesh government would be happy to take necessary measures against such activities, it added.
"However, if such a statement is made out of speculation, Bangladesh considers it very unfortunate, especially in the context of the ever-growing bilateral ties between the two friendly countries based on shared values, peace and common goals," it concluded.