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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh maintaining good relations with both US, China despite challenges, Momen says

Beijing and Washington may have their own problems, but that is their headache, says Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen  

Update : 10 Jan 2023, 07:48 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh is maintaining good relations with both global powers USA and China through its balanced foreign policy, though it is a “challenging” task.

“That is a challenging thing. They (US, China) might have their own problems. That is their headache, not ours. We want to maintain good relations with both,” he said.

Momen made the remarks when a reporter wanted to know how the Bangladesh government is maintaining relations with the United States and China

The foreign minister referred to the historic quote of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, “Friendship to all, malice towards none”, which has recently been incorporated in a UN General Assembly resolution. “We believe in this policy,” Momen said.

Momen received the newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang during the latter's brief stopover at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early today while US Senior Director for South Asia, National Security Council, Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher, wrapped up her four-day visit to Bangladesh.

On the other hand, a delegation of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), led by Vice Minister Chen Zhou, is currently visiting Bangladesh to have interactions with Bangladesh leadership.

The CPC delegation is scheduled to leave Dhaka on January 11 while Donald Lu, who became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021, is likely to begin his Bangladesh visit on January 15.

Asked whether Bangladesh-US discussed the election issue during US official Laubacher's visit, Momen said the next national election will be held after one year, and over the last 14 years, elections were held in a free, fair manner. “Our country is a democratic country.”

He said the overall election environment can be improved through joint efforts domestically with the participation of people and all parties.

Momen said it would be unfortunate if anyone violence occurs during elections and it cannot be stopped by “recommendations from the outside. We have to do this.”

The foreign minister said the government wants to ensure a free, fair and acceptable election and that is why there is an independent Election Commission.

Momen said considering the remarkable development over the last 14 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, people will re-elect Awami League for their better future.

“We believe in people. People will vote for Awami League if there is a fair election. Awami League is a democratic party. We never came to power through the backdoor,” said the foreign minister, adding that, “Our intention is good. We have a good track record.”

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