No tension with the US; confident partnership will flourish: Momen
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday denied that there is any tension in the Bangladesh-US relations following the US State Department's announcement of initiating visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals.
"We have no tension with the US," he told reporters in Manhattan yesterday, noting that the US will not grant visas to those who will try to foil the upcoming election in Bangladesh.
The foreign minister said US President Joe Biden wants to strengthen the existing friendly relations with Bangladesh in the next 50 years.
"I am confident our partnership will continue to flourish for the next 50 years and beyond," Biden wrote in a letter sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina marking the 50-year milestone in the bilateral relationship between the US and Bangladesh.
US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya said the visa policy announcement affirms the United States' commitment to "free, fair and peaceful" elections worldwide and supports efforts of partners in the Government of Bangladesh, civil society, and media to ensure democratic elections that reflect the will of Bangladeshis.
Earlier, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh has nothing to lose, and they are not worried about the visa restrictions issue, as they are doing nothing wrong.
Talking to reporters at his residence on Friday night, the state minister also said there was no reason to see further sanctions from the US before the next election as the government has received assurance from the US.
The United States has said it will not release the names or numbers of people in Bangladesh who face visa restrictions.
"Visa records are confidential under US law," embassy Spokesperson Bryan Schiller told UNB on Friday. But, he said, the US government has looked very closely at incidents since they announced the visa policy.
"After a careful review of the evidence, we have imposed visa restrictions on members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition," Schiller added.