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Govt hopes for reversing US sanctions

FM says no democracy flawless, any gap found here to be removed

FE REPORT | January 15, 2022 00:00:00

The government is hopeful about resolving the US sanctions snarl-ups through bridging the gaps, if any, says Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

"Bangladeshis are a victorious nation. We overcame many troubles in the past. Such trouble arises off and on and we faced them successfully," he says to a question as to how the government is handling the sanctions issue.

The US government recently imposed designated sanctions on seven top police officials, including the present IGP, for their roles while serving the serious crime-combatant Rapid Action Battalion or RAB.

The foreign minister, who was talking to newsmen after a programme Friday in Dhaka, noted that the US State Department had praised RAB on various aspects for its contribution to curbing terrorism and militancy.

"State Department has admitted that in the recent years the RAB has been able to clamp down terrorist activities from the country.

"Curbing terrorism, drug trafficking and human trafficking across the country are some of the objectives of the US State Department. And the RAB has been doing these things successfully," the minister said, hoping the State Department will take these issues in consideration in a rethink.

"RAB has also earned people's trust. So, I think, the US will understand these aspects and then their position will be changed," says Dr Momen.

Replying to a question he said appointing lobbyists is a common practice in the USA.

Asked when and from which firm in the US Bangladesh appointed lobbyists, the foreign minister said he had no specific knowledge about the matter of lobbying.

In reply to another query whether the opposition BNP engaged a lobbyist firm in the USA, he said anybody has the right to engage a lobbyist firm over there.

''But I do not know about that. I heard it from the media."

He noted that Bangladesh emerged as an independent country due to its people's hunger for democracy. "When their voices were curbed, people started their struggle for independence. So, historically, our people are keen to follow democratic values and the rule of law."

He hastens to add: "No democracy is flawless. Even sometimes, democracy gets stumbled in matured democratic countries like the US. So, if there is any gap in our democratic process, we will surely try to remove the gap."

He claims that in Bangladesh democracy now reaches grassroots level after a prolonged journey.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Momen inaugurated an international conference on 'Law & Legal Education During and Post-Pandemic' held at the BILIA auditorium.

The conference was jointly organised by Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA) and the Asian Association of Law Professors (AALP).

Chairman of BILIA Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, Ambassador Muhammad Zamir, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Dhaka Dr Md. Rahmat Ullah and Director of BILIA Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman, among others, spoke in the inaugural ceremony of the conference.

In his speech at the function the foreign minister said to check the spread of Covid pandemic, a string of rules were enforced which were non-compliant with people's freedom of movement.

He urged legal experts to codify the rules in such a manner so that people's right can be protected in the maximum.

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