UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her invitation to opposition leader Khaleda Zia for a dialogue to resolve the current political impasse, saying, “it’s a brave and noble initiative”.
The UN chief's message was conveyed to Hasina Saturday morning when visiting Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Oscar Fernández-Taranco met the PM at her official residence Gono Bhaban.
PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad briefed reporters after the meeting.
The UN secretary general also praised Hasina for her statesmanship role, and condemned the recent violence in Bangladesh, Azad said.
Ban Ki-moon urged the opposition to accept the dialogue offer saying there should not be a pre-condition for dialogue, Azad added.
The UN chief also laid emphasis on ensuring a conducive atmosphere towards holding a free, fair and neutral elections in the country.
Taranco said that Bangladesh is the symbol of cooperation between the UN and any other member states.
He praised the government for its all-out efforts for the rescue of the victims from the rubble of the collapsed building at Savar as a large number of victims have been rescued alive.
In response, the premier said her government strengthened the Election Commission to ensure the voting rights of people.
Hasina mentioned that the president has appointed the commissioners to the Election Commission through a search committee which held discussions with all political parties.
In this context, she mentioned the holding of over 5,636 elections, including 16 by-polls of the Jatiya Sangsad, in a free, fair and neutral manner, and said no allegation has been raised about the elections.
In many cases candidates of the opposition parties won the polls, she added.
Hasina told the UN official that UN observers are always welcome to Bangladesh to oversee the situation here.
PM’s Adviser Gowher Rizvi, Ambassador at-Large M Ziauddin and Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad were present during the meeting.