The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is confident that Dhaka-Washington relations will deepen after the election. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen says that Bangladesh does not have the situation of Guatemala or Cambodia. Therefore, the Biden administration will not take steps such as visa or trade restrictions after the election. Because Sheikh Hasina’s government is going to set the example of a free and fair election to keep the democracy intact like the United States.
Recently, the United States has imposed a visa ban on 300 citizens, including 100 MPs, from the Central American country of Guatemala for allegedly obstructing the democratic process. Earlier, Cambodia faced a US visa ban due to allegations of vote rigging.
Washington has been talking about applying the visa policy with the insistence of making the 12th National Parliament elections transparent and free. However, the reality of Bangladesh is not like that of Guatemala or Cambodia, the foreign minister says, and the government is not afraid of anything like that.
The Foreign Minister told Independent Television, ‘Maybe that’s why there wasn’t a transparent election. We will have a transparent election, we have no fear or doubt. We want to create an ideal in the world by having a free and fair election.’
Abdul Momen said, ‘We do not believe. We have no reason to sanction. We have done no such wrong. Elections will be transparent and America will be our closer friend.’
When asked how international elections would be acceptable without BNP, the foreign minister said, bringing up the examples of Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Myanmar, “Elections were held in Egypt even without a major party.” They didn’t even come close. Sisi Sahib (Abdel Fattah Al Sisi) was elected there. Did anyone deny him? They are endless. Elections were held in neighboring Myanmar, where Aung San Suu Kyi won. Minority groups including the Rohingyas could not vote there. America has recognized that too. They are inseparable things.’
The foreign minister also said that the United States is the main investor country in Bangladesh. They want to see a free and fair election. The Awami League government is also committed to fair and participatory elections to keep the democratic process going.