Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh will be happy if the United States withdraws the sanctions imposed on the elite force Rab, reiterating that it was “inappropriate and unjustified.”
“It’s up to them (US) to look into and to reexamine,” he said, adding that the Rab as an institution is doing an excellent job.
The foreign minister feared resumption of radicalism due to sanctions imposed on the Rab and wanted to know who will take the blame if there is an increasing number of human trafficking, drug trafficking and resumption of radicalism.
“This is an important issue. We should look beyond. I raised it in every meeting. I personally feel it’s (sanctions) inappropriate and unjustified,” Momen said at a programme titled “A conversation with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister” on the lessons learned from the last 50 years and the path ahead for US-Bangladesh relations hosted by United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Tuesday.
President and CEO of the USIP Lise Grande delivered opening remarks at the event moderated by Ambassador Teresita Schaffer.
The FM said there is no more terrorism and radicalism in the country and gave credit to the Rab for the achievement. “Rab has achieved public acknowledgment.”
Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recognized the elite force RAB's important counterterrorism role but stated that lifting sanctions and resuming training might take time.
During his recent meeting with Blinken, Foreign Minister Momen emphasized that Bangladeshi law enforcers need training from the US on rules of engagements, and informed that there is an inbuilt system of inquiry in the Rab, which tracks all allegations; and number of personnel have been penalized.
Depicting the context of the creation of Rab in 2004, he underscored that the force has played pivotal role in Bangladesh’s counter-terrorism efforts; which may be undermined by the sanctions.