AK Abdul Momen
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday (April 16, 2023) said complaining to foreigners will bring no benefits to BNP and suggested that the opposition party reach out to voters at the grassroots and listen to them. “These are very unfortunate. They should go to voters at the grassroots level. Foreigners will not cast votes, rather the people of Bangladesh will do that,” he said when a reporter drew his attention to a BNP delegation meeting US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas on Sunday. Momen referred to his recent visit to his constituency in Sylhet and said political leaders' efforts should be focused on people’s welfare. “If you discuss with grassroots voters, you will understand what can be done for further development,” he said. Also Read: 3-member BNP delegation meets US envoy Responding to a question, Momen said the US wants “free and fair elections” and they (AL) want the same. “There is no difference in opinion (on the election issue).” He said the US wants to strengthen its relations with Bangladesh and the US ambassador is an expert on trade and investment issues. “We hope efforts on trade development will be expedited and the ambassador will emphasize on it.” Regarding his recent meeting with the US Secretary of State, Momen said the Bangladesh side answered the questions that the US had including a question on the Digital Security Act (DSA). Bangladesh is examining the issue as in some areas application of the DSA might not be done correctly. “We are examining it. If there is any weakness, we will take care of it,” said the foreign minister. Also Read: US urged to create “safe protection zone” in Myanmar to facilitate Rohingya repatriation Momen said the US is “pretty happy” with Bangladesh’s response as both sides want to avoid unnecessary harassment. He said Bangladesh fought for establishing democracy, justice, freedom of press and religion and Bangladesh which gave blood does not need to take any lesson from others. “We told them our story and shared our position.” Bangladesh has conveyed to the USA that the Digital Security Act (DSA) is not meant for restricting the freedom of press, noting that the government believes in freedom of press. “We said we enacted the Digital Security Act, but it is not to curb the freedom of press. Awami League believes in freedom of press,” Momen told the US side during his meeting with Blinken in Washington DC. Also Read: Digital Security Act not for restricting media freedom, Momen tells US Momen mentioned the presence of a huge number of newspapers and private television channels in Bangladesh which he described as “hyperactive”. At the meeting, Blinken expressed concerns about “violence against and intimidation of the media and civil society,” including under the Digital Security Act, according to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel. Asked whether the government feels any pressure amid repeated calls for holding free and fair elections in Bangladesh, Momen said, “We are very happy.” “No pressure. We want free and fair elections. It’s our own commitment.” Read More: Investigate if BNP-Jamaat are behind recent fire incidents to cripple economy: PM Hasina asks authorities Since holding free and fair elections is a government’s commitment, Momen said, the repeated calls from the US helped them make their commitment afresh. He said the government and the Election Commission alone cannot ensure a free and fair election but it requires sincerity and commitment from all political parties. Momen said the government encouraged the US side to send election observers as many as they want. “We are open to observers.” “Of course, we’re looking – the world is looking – to Bangladesh for its next election, to make sure that they set a strong example of free and fair election for the region and for the world,” Secretary Blinken said during his meeting with Momen on April 10. Read More: The entire world with Bangladesh for credible polls, human rights, press freedom: BNP “I agree with Secretary Blinken. I am so happy that he also wants a model election which can be portrayed in the rest of the world. I want this, too and we seek support from all,” Momen said earlier.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday (April 05, 2023) said the United States is Bangladesh’s biggest friend, one of the biggest investors and export destinations. Momen is set to leave for the US on April 7 where he is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington on April 10. “America is the only country who provided 100 million vaccines for free during the Covid-19 pandemic. They even supported us the most after the Rohingya influx. Other countries have helped us as well. But I’ll express gratitude when I meet him,” Momen said while addressing the media after a comic book unveiling in the capital. Read More: Countries are reluctant to share information about money launderers: Momen He said he would visit the US this time as the US Secretary of State has invited him. “Of course, we’re very lucky to get invited three times in a row,” he said. When asked what will be discussed in the meeting with the US Secretary of State, Momen said that the Rohingya issue and bilateral trade will come up. Replying to a question about the US concern regarding democracy in Bangladesh, the foreign minister said: “We fought for democracy. Three million people gave their lives to uphold democracy and human rights. Therefore, we don't need lessons on democracy,” he said. Read More: Sultana Jesmin’s death in RAB custody won’t impact Bangladesh-US relations: Momen “We want a fair election. America also wants a fair election. We don't disagree with that. We have already made necessary institutional arrangements to ensure a free and fair election,” the minister said. Momen said the US has agreed to scale up the resettlement process for vulnerable Rohingya refugees. “While many nations have scaled back their financial support for the Rohingya refugees, the US has not done so as of yet. We're also talking to them about a variety of issues. We’re also engaging them on a number of issues,” he said. Read More: Momen urges vigilance against anti-Bangladesh disinformation campaign
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has underscored the urgent need for unity and concerted efforts from the international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis, in the true spirit of responsibility and burden sharing. He urged the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, to enhance her engagements with Myanmar authorities as well as other stakeholders to improve the conditions in Rakhine so that the Rohingyas can return to their homes without delay. Momen particularly emphasized on addressing root causes of the crisis which lie in Myanmar. The foreign minister had a bilateral meeting with the special envoy at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York on March 21. Also Read: UNHCR ‘not involved’ in discussions on Bangladesh-Myanmar pilot project on Rohingya repatriation Referring to the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council on Myanmar, Momen called upon the special envoy to continue taking a multi-pronged approach and remain engaged with all global and regional actors including ASEAN leadership, with a view to fostering lasting peace in Myanmar. He highlighted the various humanitarian initiatives and skills development programmes undertaken by the government of Bangladesh at the temporary shelter of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhashan Char, including the introduction of Myanmar curriculum-based education in those camps. Momen urged the special envoy to mobilize adequate funding from the international community to provide for the Rohingyas especially in meeting their most urgent needs, such as food and shelter. Also Read: PM meets UK’s cross-party delegation, discusses Rohingya “If given opportunities, the Rohingya people can be important members of Myanmar society and contribute to their socio-economic prosperity,” he said.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has hoped that Argentina would support Bangladesh's initiative to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the South American regional economic organisation Mercosur during its current presidency. In response, Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andres Cafiero suggested that Bangladesh pursue a preferential trade agreement (PTA) instead of FTA. Momen also requested Santiago to consider lowering the existing 35 percent duty imposed by Argentina on readymade garments (RMG) products and withdrawing $0.16 per kg anti-dumping duty on jute bags and sacks from Bangladesh to have greater market access. A 34-member high-level Argentine delegation, led by the Argentine minister, is paying a two-day state-level visit to Dhaka. Read more: Bangladesh attractive destination for business, investment: Momen tells Argentine delegation The non-resident Argentine ambassador to Bangladesh, undersecretary of trade and chief of cabinet to the Argentine foreign minister, are also accompanying the minister. Momen received his Argentine counterpart this morning at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Later, Santiago led a delegation to the Brac Foundation. The purpose was to learn from the Brac development programmes and success stories focusing on women's empowerment and rural women's financial inclusion. Both sides agreed to collaborate to share knowledge on how to bring about financial inclusion in a responsible manner to pull millions of vulnerable women in rural and urban areas of Argentina out of poverty. Read More: Reopening embassy in Dhaka a stepping stone to build better ties with Bangladesh: Argentina Santiago had a meeting with Momen at state guest house Jamuna this evening. Momen expressed gratitude to the Argentine government for reopening its diplomatic mission in Dhaka. The foreign minister showed interest in wider cooperation between Bangladesh and Argentina in agriculture, agro-processing, cattle and poultry industries, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, the ICT sector, heavy and light machinery and equipment. Santiago and Momen emphasised the importance of enhancing close collaboration to increase bilateral trade and investment. Read More: Argentina’s foreign minister in Dhaka to reopen embassy, deepen ties.
Outgoing Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard has said her country will continue to be a reliable partner for Bangladesh in the days ahead. She paid a farewell call to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen Monday (January 16, 2023) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Momen congratulated Nathalie on her successful tenure in Bangladesh and appreciated her efforts to further strengthen and broaden Bangladesh-Switzerland ties. Read more: Switzerland a serious global player, reliable partner of Bangladesh: Ambassador Chuard Highlighting the similarity of the foreign policies of the two countries, the foreign minister recalled Bangabandhu's vision of turning Bangladesh into the "Switzerland of the East." The Swiss ambassador expressed her satisfaction at the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the areas of trade and investment and development cooperation. The foreign minister invited more Swiss investment into Bangladesh, particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector. Read More: Newly appointed Bangladesh envoy Sufiur presents credentials to Swiss president, seeks better relations Also, Momen hoped that as a member of the United Nations Security Council for 2023-24, Switzerland would further contribute to global peace and security. He sought Switzerland's continued support towards the early repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their country.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, a lawmaker from Sylhet-1, has said if the ongoing development of the country, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, continues, people will have a better standard of living. He was speaking at a programme at Lakkatura Tea Garden in his constituency Thursday. During the event, the minister distributed 700 blankets among tea garden workers with the help of the local administration. Read more: AL will always stand by the nation no matter what: Quader The foreign minister's spouse Selina Momen, chair of the Momen Foundation, was also present at that time.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has congratulated the friendly people of the Argentine Republic for winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 Championship. “I believe, hearts of the people of Bangladesh and Argentina are dearly united by football, despite our geographical distance,” Momen said in a letter to Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andrés Cafiero on Monday. “You would be amazed to see the spontaneous rejoicing of the people of Bangladesh after the victory of the Argentine team in the FIFA World Cup, last (Sunday) night,” he said. On behalf of the people of Bangladesh and on his own behalf, Minister Momen conveyed their heartfelt felicitations and congratulations to his Argentine counterpart and the friendly people of the Argentine Republic. Read more: Messi wins World Cup to push claim to be football's GOAT In this joyful moment, Momen reiterated Bangladesh's commitment to deepen the existing relations and friendship between the two friendly countries. “I look forward to working closely to consolidate our mutual priorities and opening of Missions in each other’s capital in the coming days,” he said. Read more: Argentine fans chanted “Bangladesh-er doa chai!” before last night’s Qatar World Cup final Homes and streets across Argentina and Bangladesh became places of celebration after an epic World Cup final in which the national team beat France on penalties. It was the country’s third World Cup title, and the first since 1986.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming had a farewell meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Wednesday. During the meeting, the foreign minister expressed his deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies over the death of the former president of China Jiang Zemin. Momen appreciated Jiming's efforts and contributions to strengthening Bangladesh-China ties. Also, he recalled the visits of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in 1952 and 1957 and referred to Bangabandhu's impression of the "New China," in his book "Amar Dekha Naya Chin" on his 1952 visit. The foreign minister lauded the support of the Chinese government and the Chinese ambassador in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, particularly for the gift of over 5 million doses and for opening the commercial supply line of 77 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh at the most critical time of the pandemic, and good progress of the China-assisted mega projects in Bangladesh. Both sides exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in different multilateral fora on SDGs, climate change, and South-South cooperation. Read more: Shahriar bids farewell to Li Jiming Reiterating Bangladesh's position on the "One China Policy," the foreign minister said Bangladesh shares the vision for a free, open, peaceful, secure, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, based on international law and with shared prosperity for all. He hoped that China would continue to extend support towards the repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar at an early date for peace and security in the region.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Saturday appreciated the efforts made by the Foreign Office Spouses’ Association (FOSA) which hosted a daylong "International Charity Bazaar" at the Foreign Service Academy. “I am very proud of them. Every year, they are coming up with more innovative ways of doing it,” he said. read more: Several countries, including Afghanistan, suffered due to foreigners’ role: Momen Momen said the FOSA members spent plenty of time in organizing a series of events and assured them of extending support from his Ministry to organize such events in a larger way.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday said Bangladesh is positioned to be a “regional connectivity hub” and India being the closest neighbour can reap the benefits of the connectivity outlook, as envisioned by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Momen also mentioned about the actions taken by Hasina and her government for exerting “zero tolerance” towards terrorism, radicalism and insurgency, which ultimately paved the way in establishing “peace and stability” of the North Eastern states of India. During his meeting with the foreign minister, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay K. Verma said India, under its Presidency of G20, expects active participation of Bangladesh in the G20 meetings to promote the issues of mutual interest in the global discourse. The foreign minister reaffirmed that Bangladesh considers India as the closest and the most important neighbour and termed the relations as “solid and unique one.” Momen underscored the exemplary economic growth of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of the PM Hasina and added that Bangladesh’s economic development is complementing the economic development of India in many ways. Read: Phone Conversation: Momen, Lavrov want to take Dhaka-Moscow relations to greater heights With regard to the Indo-Pacific region, Momen stressed the need for international rules and norms based on free and fair connectivity amongst the countries of the region. The Indian high commissioner said working in Bangladesh is a matter of honour and privilege and reiterated his commitment to work on the issues of mutual interest for further strengthening the excellent relations existing between the two countries. He stressed on working together in the multilateral arena in supporting the candidatures floated by either country. He urged all concerned to work towards bringing the border killings to zero, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both the foreign minister and the high commissioner emphasized increasing the engagements between Bangladesh and Indian North Eastern region to invigorate the connectivity and age-old relationship. Momen emphasized that more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar are being sheltered by Bangladesh. Read: Momen ‘surprised’ to see his name as chief guest at Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022 opening