Shahriar, Sherman talk polls, security of US embassy personnel

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen previously said the government will guarantee full protection of all diplomats stationed in Dhaka

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke on the phone with State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Shahriar Alam on Thursday.

The two discussed strengthening US-Bangladesh relations, the importance of holding free and fair elections, and the safety and security of US embassy personnel, according to US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday said there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the security of foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka.

"Our government will guarantee full protection of all diplomats," he added.

The US side said they raised the December 14 Shaheen Bagh incident at the "highest levels" of the Bangladesh government, as well as with the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC.

"The ambassador (Peter Haas) is a bit panicked about his security. Our ambassador conveyed there is no reason to get panicked," Momen said.

Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said there was no shortage of security when US Ambassador Peter Haas visited Shaheen Bagh. "Police personnel rushed to the spot immediately."

The US Embassy in Dhaka said they take "seriously" all allegations of human rights violations and regularly meet with a wide variety of human rights organizations.

"The US Embassy had not received any prior communication from Mayer Kanna over the last several years," said a US embassy spokesperson on Sunday, in light of various articles and statements surrounding Ambassador Haas' meeting with Mayer Dak on December 14 – the purpose of his trip to Shaheen Bagh- but apparently snubbing the former.

Whereas the US ambassador had to end his "prescheduled" meeting with Mayer Dak on December 14 due to "security concerns," Mayer Kanna was looking to catch his attention or communicate with him for the very first time that day.

"The meeting was interrupted by protestors (Mayer Dak members), who attempted to enter the building where the ambassador was located. Other protestors surrounded the ambassador's vehicle," said the spokesperson.