Kerry seeks govt’s action to peacefully end violence
United States Secretary of State John Kerry has called for Bangladesh government's action to peacefully end the recent violence in the country and pulled up on political parties for targeting the civilians during agitation.
“The Secretary called for government action to peacefully end the recent violence, underscored the government’s role in ensuring peaceful political expression for all political parties, and emphasised the need for a free and fair media that plays a constructive role in ensuring human rights,” a State Department Official said.
In the meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohmood Ali, he condemned the targeting the civilians by political parties and stressed the need for oppositions parties to cease such attacks immediately, reports The Economic Times quoting PTI.
He stated there can be no tolerance for tactics that target innocent citizens or inhibit political expression in a democratic Bangladesh, the official said.
Kerry met Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mohmmod Ali at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on the sidelines of the three-day White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism which concluded yesterday.
The summit was attended by leaders from more than 70 countries. Ali was leading the Bangladeshi delegation.
During the meeting, Kerry offered renewed US support to help achieve a political solution that returns Bangladesh to its democratic foundations. The two leaders also discussed bilateral relationship and other regional issues.
Kerry conveyed his appreciation for the close relations the United States shares with Bangladesh.
"They discussed Bangladesh's economic growth and gains in development, as well as our shared efforts to address climate change and improve labor conditions," the official said.
Bangladesh has decided to form special tribunals to hold trials of rioters and arsonists under a tough anti-terrorism law even as continuing political violence in the country has claimed over 100 lives in the past seven weeks.
Bangladesh's opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist party along with its allies have continued to enforce a nationwide blockade since January 6 as part of their fierce campaign demanding a midterm election, which is otherwise scheduled for 2019.