Dhaka has termed Washington's remarks linking terrorist group Al-Qaeda with Bangladesh irresponsible and unfounded.
In a statement on January 12 on the US state department's website, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "Imagine too the potential to completely upend fragile places with an established Al-Qaida presence like Libya, Yemen, and the Maghreb, or increase turmoil in places like Bangladesh, where Al-Qaida cells have carried out attacks."
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement yesterday strongly rejecting Pompeo's comments as "irresponsible". There is no evidence of any presence of Al-Qaeda in Bangladesh, it said.
"Such irresponsible comments by a senior leader is very unfortunate and unacceptable," the foreign ministry said.
Bangladesh, under the 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, it said.
"If any such claim could be substantiated with evidence, the government of Bangladesh would be happy to take necessary measures against such activities."