Call for free, fair polls not interference
The US State Department wonders why anyone would object to Washington's calls for free and fair elections in Bangladesh.
"I don't know why anyone would object to us calling for free and fair elections. I will note that the prime minister of Bangladesh has repeatedly stated her own commitment to free and fair elections. It's a desire that we share as a friend and partner of Bangladesh for over 50 years," said the US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller at a briefing in Washington DC on Monday.
He made the comment in response to a question on recent criticism from China, Russia and Iran that the statements and letters from the US and European Union politicians were interfering in Bangladesh's internal affairs.
Russia last week said Western calls for "free and fair" elections in Bangladesh were an act of "neo-colonialism".
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova defined the calls as "another attempt at blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state."
In mid-June, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China supported the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's remarks criticising US sanctions on Rab.
Referring to the US, Wenbin said, "Indeed, while turning a blind eye to its own racial discrimination, gun violence and drug proliferation problems, a certain country has long been interfering in the internal affairs of Bangladesh and many other developing countries under the pretext of democracy and human rights."
At Monday's briefing, Miller said, "We don't consider it interference in internal affairs when other countries raise our elections process with us. We welcome those discussions as an opportunity to strengthen our democracy, and we don't know why any other countries would object."
He said Washington supports a genuine democratic process.