Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Very strange, no source mentioned’: Momen on report claiming new sanctions are coming
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday said there is no reason to impose sanctions afresh on Bangladesh and if that happens it will be very unfortunate. He said he does not have any idea on new sanctions as it depends on individual countries. “We hope (America's) good sense will prevail,” he said, adding that America is passing thousands of sanctions (on other countries)," Dr Momen told reporters at a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding that they (US) will not do these things. It was arranged to brief the media on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Qatar visit that begins on Monday afternoon. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin, among others, was present. It was very strange and surprising and no reference (source) is mentioned, Momen said regarding a media report that claimed that new sanctions are coming. The Daily Kalbela newspaper published the report titled "US Sanctions Coming, Government Remains Ready.” He referred to Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque who also said there is no reason to impose new sanctions. On Sunday night, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protested and condemned part of a media report terming it "false, baseless" and it was done with an "ulterior motive." The Foreign Minister reiterated that he had never worked as a Chinese firm lobbyist before becoming a minister. Rather, he said, he stayed in the USA and worked there. "This is something very strange (media report)." Referring to the news published in the Daily Kalbela, the MoFA on Sunday night said in a part of the news, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was defamed. The report mentioned that Dr Momen worked as a lobbyist for a Chinese organization before becoming a minister. "It is completely false and baseless," MoFA said in a media release. Through such lies in the name of AK Abdul Momen, the image of the government has been tarnished along with his defamation, MoFA said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently said Bangladesh will not purchase anything from countries that impose sanctions against the country. A journalist wanted to know what actually provoked her to make this comment. In reply Dr Momen said politicians say many things that work as warnings as there are times when they see many issues. “We are a very proud nation with many achievements. We have the capacity to face challenges. We are a victorious nation. I think this is the message (she wanted to convey). We will not step back but we will face the challenges.” The US Embassy issued a “demonstration alert” ahead of the next general election and said the US citizens should practice vigilance and remember that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. When FM Momen’s attention was drawn regarding the alert, he said this question should be asked to the US side. “Still there are still 7-8 months before the election. It is very strange. You ask them. Our law and order situation is very good. This is an amazing development we must say. They (law enforcement agencies) have done an excellent job,” Momen said. The Foreign Minister said no one is getting killed on Bangladesh street and it will be relevant for the US to alert people regarding visits to US malls, schools or bars to remain careful there. Also Read: PM Hasina: Bangladesh won't buy anything from those who impose sanctions against it
Govt operating 4 chartered flights to evacuate remaining Bangladeshis from Sudan to Jeddah: Shahriar Alam
Bangladesh is operating four chartered flights from Sudan, at its own cost, to evacuate the remaining Bangladeshi citizens to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Three of the chartered flights will be operated today (May 10, 2023), while the fourth will be operated tomorrow, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. He said the government has sent required financial support for providing food to Bangladeshis who are waiting in Sudan. Also read: Govt to provide all possible financial assistance to returnees from Sudan: Minister Once they reach Jeddah, they will fly back to Dhaka as soon as possible. On Tuesday, 136 Bangladeshi nationals arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. They were supported by IOM with air tickets through its internal emergency assistance funding mechanisms to travel from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Dhaka, Bangladesh with the coordinated support from Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Upon arrival the returnees were provided with meals and onward transportation allowance from the Wage Earners' Welfare Board (Tk 3,000) and IOM (Tk 2,000). Read More: Sudan conflict: 136 Bangladeshi evacuees arrive in Dhaka
Rohingyas not bothered about facilities, their demand centres citizenship
A 27-member delegation including 20 Rohingyas that left for Myanmar’s Rakhine on Friday morning returned to Bangladesh on Friday (May 05, 2023) around 5.50 pm after visiting 15 villages and other infrastructure built for the Rohingyas. “We have visited the places in our village, but I still don't see any opportunity to go there before fulfilling demands. We want to see the fulfillment of our demand from here (Bangladesh) and then we will return to Myanmar,” said Sufian, a member of the delegation and a resident of Rohingya camp number 26 while speaking at a briefing after returning at Teknaf-Myanmar Transit Ghat in Cox's Bazar. "We went there and made our demands. We have demanded citizenship, we have demanded our land," Sufian added. However, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, also the leader of the 27-member delegation team that went to Rakhine State, said, “We returned today with 20 Rohingyas after visiting the arrangements made for them around Maungdaw town. I have seen the goodwill of the Myanmar government regarding repatriation. We want to start repatriation.” Read More: China "unswervingly mediating" between Bangladesh, Myanmar to promote Rohingya repatriation: Ambassador Yao "We also had Rohingya representatives with us. Basically this event is for them. They will be deported, so they have been shown it in person. Myanmar authorities have briefed, visited various places," he added. At that time, Mizanur Rahman also assured that there are a lot of Rohingya in Maungdaw city. “As far as I can tell, about 80% of the Rohingya are doing business. I have spoken to them and told them that they are not facing any problem,” he said. Mohammad Selim, a Rohingya member of the delegation and a resident of Rohingya camp number 26, said that after many years, we have had the opportunity to see our country Myanmar. Read More: Rohingyas not bothered about facilities, their demand centres citizenship “Our last word is that if we are not given security, citizenship and land, we will not go back to Myanmar,” Selim said. Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (Additional Secretary) Mohammad Khalid Hossain, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Biswajit Debnath and senior officials of various government agencies were present in the delegation. Earlier, a list of more than 800,000 Rohingyas was sent to Myanmar from the Bangladesh government. The country had identified about 1,140 people in the first phase as a pilot project to repatriate from the list. Later, Myanmar voiced objections regarding 429 individuals on the list. Read More: Rohingya delegation leaves for Rakhine to monitor repatriation arrangements On March 15, a 19-member technical team came to Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf, and met 480 members of 177 Rohingya families and returned to Myanmar.
Arav Khan is under watch in Dubai: Foreign Ministry
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Bangladesh Mission in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working over the issues related to Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, a fugitive in the police officer murder case, says a spokesperson. "He is under watch there," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Seheli Sabrin told reporters in the weekly briefing on Thursday (March 23, 2023) afternoon. She said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will extend required assistance if the Home Ministry seeks. Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, a fugitive in the police officer murder case, has not been arrested in Dubai, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam on Tuesday. Read More: Interpol accepted ‘red notice’ request against Arav Khan, says IGP “No, he has not been arrested….it’s an event that’s unfolding. You will know in time,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while responding to a question. The State Minister said all he can say that there is no scope for any Bangladeshi accused to stay free in a country if he is granted political asylum or for any reason he identifies himself. Interpol has accepted Bangladesh police's request to issue a red notice against fugitive accused Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, owner of Arav Jewellers in Dubai. Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Saturday (March 18) that efforts were underway to bring Arav Khan alias Rabiul Islam to the country through the international police agency Interpol. Read more: Arav Khan not arrested yet: Shahriar Alam A senior Detective Branch official on Thursday (March 16) said cricketer Shakib al Hasan and content creator Hero Alam who participated in the inauguration of Arav Jewellers in Dubai may be questioned for the sake of investigation.
‘Whatever you need, let us know’: Momen tells Turkish counterpart
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had a telephone conversation yesterday (February 15, 2023) with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to express solidarity with the government and people of Turkey, and to assure of additional support. Momen conveyed to the Turkish foreign minister that Bangladesh is sending additional 10,000 tents, with the initial 2000, to Turkey for earthquake victims, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also requested his Turkish counterpart to let Bangladesh know if they need anything else, adding that Bangladesh wants to send construction workers for reconstruction efforts in the affected areas. Momen again expressed condolences for the loss of lives caused by the earthquakes and pledged support for Turkish people. Also read: Vinay Kwatra’s visit to add momentum to Dhaka-Delhi ties, India hopes “We are truly devastated by the scale of destruction and deaths. We express our wholehearted condolence and also, as your brother, we will try to assist you as much as we can. This is a great shock to all of us in Bangladesh,” he told his Turkish counterpart during the phone call. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked Momen for calling and also thanked the government of Bangladesh – including the president, the prime minister, speaker of the parliament and the foreign minister – and the people for their sincere messages of condolence and solidarity. Thanking the Bangladesh government for sending search, rescue and medical teams and tents, he said these are what they urgently need at this moment. Foreign Minister Momen wanted to know about the current situation and his Turkish counterpart stated that the situation is not stable yet, and it is worse than what people are seeing on TV. Read More: Rising toll makes quake deadliest in Turkey's modern history “We lost more than 35,000 people and there are people under the rubbles that we couldn’t reach. We are doing our best to normalize life, to provide temporary shelter, and also, we are planning the reconstruction of the region affected by the earthquakes,” said the Turkish foreign minister. He also expressed concerns about the Bangladeshi citizens who were wounded and wished them quick recovery. Momen said two Bangladeshi students have been rescued from debris and they are doing fine. Offering Bangladesh’s support, Momen said, “We can send the construction workers. And whatever you need, let us know and we will try our best.” Read More: Bangladesh team rescues one alive, recovers 22 bodies so far in Turkey “If we need anything else, we will reach out without hesitation,” the Turkish foreign minister responded, as quoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The death toll from the magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes that struck nine hours apart in south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria rose to 33,185 and was certain to increase as search teams find more bodies.
Bangladesh condemns desecration of the Holy Quran by far-right activist in The Hague
Bangladesh has strongly condemned the recent act of desecrating the Holy Quran by a far-right activist in The Hague, Netherlands. Bangladesh has expressed grave concern over the incident and rejects any act of insulting the sacred values and religious symbols of the Muslims — for that matter of all religions — all over the world under any circumstances, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more: Bangladesh condemns desecration of the Holy Quran by far-right activist in The Hague Bangladesh urged all concerned to put an end to such unwarranted provocations and Islamophobia for the sake of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
Rab made ‘tremendous progress’ in ‘respecting rights’ while performing duties: Donald Lu observes
Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu has appreciated the “tremendous progress” made by Rab in “respecting human rights” while performing its duties. “We had quite a good discussion about the Rab. If you have seen the statement this week by the Human Rights Watch, they recognised and we recognised tremendous progress in the area of reducing extra judicial killings by the Rab,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. “This is amazing work. It shows the Rab is able to carry out its important counterterrorism and law enforcement function while respecting human rights,” Lu added. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen also spoke on the occasion. The senior US official said they had “very honest and open” discussions with the Bangladesh foreign minister and foreign secretary. “We have expressed our commitment to democracy and human rights. We will speak when we see problems and when we can offer suggestions. We will stand up for freedom of speech, freedom of expression. And we look forward to working very closely with our partners here in Bangladesh,” Lu said. Regarding the labour rights issue, he said it is important for Bangladesh and for trade relationships. “I had the honour of sitting down this morning with (PM’s adviser) Salman F Raman to talk about the way forward, so that we can cooperate on improvement of labour rights in this country. I’m very confident we’re going to make progress this year,” said the US official. INDO-PACIFIC STRATEGY Asked whether the US wants Bangladesh to join the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Lu said they had a “wonderful discussion” on the Indo-Pacific Strategy. “It’s a strategy, it’s not a club. We don’t join.” Regarding restoration of GSP (generalised system of preferences) facilities for Bangladesh, the US official said they are still waiting for the Congress to authorise GSP for any country. “We are working very closely with the government of Bangladesh,” Lu said, adding that Bangladesh will be the first country on the list if the Congress authorises. “I am here to strengthen the friendship with Bangladesh when the world is struggling to establish peace and justice,” he said before taking questions. Talking to reporters, Foreign Minister Momen said, “I am very happy. We had very constructive discussions. The US is our old friend and our relationship turned deeper over the last 50 years. We want to make the relationship much deeper in the next 50 years.” Momen said the US side invited them to visit this month or in April. “This engagement is very effective.” Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said they discussed all issues of mutual interest – trade, investment, labour rights, sanctions, human rights, democracy and development, as well as Bangladesh’s views on the Indo-Pacific. “Through our sincere efforts, we will be able to elevate our relations to a higher level,” said the foreign secretary. Read more: US committed to continued cooperation with Bangladesh to improve labor rights: Donald Lu LABOUR RIGHTS The United States is “committed” to continued cooperation with Bangladesh in its efforts to improve labour rights, Lu said. At a meeting with Bangladeshi labour rights leaders, Lu listened to their experiences and concerns. Earlier in the morning, he had a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman. The US Assistant Secretary had a meeting over dinner with Foreign Minister Momen at his residence on Saturday night. Key issues of bilateral relations were discussed during Lu’s over one-hour stay at the foreign minister’s official residence, a diplomatic source told UNB. Lu, who arrived in Dhaka on Saturday evening, directly went to the foreign minister’s residence accompanied by US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas. The US senior official is visiting Bangladesh to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relationship, expand economic engagement, and go over the labour and human rights situation.
Md. Monwar Hossain appointed as the next ambassador to Myanmar
The government has appointed Md. Monwar Hossain as the next Ambassador of Bangladesh to Myanmar. He will be replacing Ambassador Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today. Ambassador-designate Md. Monwar Hossain is a career foreign service officer from the 20th batch of Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS)-Foreign Affairs cadre. Also read: Amanul Haq appointed next Ambassador of Bangladesh to Turkey He is currently serving as Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York. Joining the service in 2001, Hossain has served extensively in various capacities — both at the headquarters as well as in Bangladesh missions in Washington DC and Singapore. He did his Masters of Science in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from University of London and a PhD in Public Health Communication from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Read More: Ambassador Muhith elected vice-president of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board
No matter who, Bangladesh doesn’t want foreign interference in its internal affairs: Momen
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday said the government does not want any country getting involved in Bangladesh's internal affairs. "No country needs to get involved in our internal affairs. We are a matured country. We are a sovereign country. We are an independent country," he told reporters while responding to questions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Asked whether his message applies to all countries, Momen said, "Yes, no matter who." The foreign minister’s attention was drawn to the recent remarks made by both the US and Russian sides. Momen said that other countries do not need to give prescriptions to Bangladesh on democracy, human rights, justice and human dignity as these are deeply rooted in Bangladesh's DNA. He said Bangladesh is the only country where 30 lakh people sacrificed their lives to uphold “democracy, human rights, justice and dignity of human beings in 1971.” Read more: More “informed” thinking required amid rise of new actors, challenges: FM He said the current government is committed to holding “free, fair, transparent and inclusive” elections under the independent Election Commission. “We introduced voter’s ID with photo and formed an independent election commission for a transparent election. There is no lack of sincerity. We assure that our election will be free, fair, transparent and inclusive. We want that,” he added. Momen said the Awami League never came to power without any democratic process and elections. “If you look at the track record, you will see Awami League is always for democracy, human rights, justice and human dignity.” He said those who lecture about Bangladesh need to know the history of Bangladesh and Awami League to stop unexpected talks. The foreign minister said Bangladesh welcomes constructive suggestions from foreign friends. “We consider proposals from our friendly countries with due importance.” Read more: Govt will guarantee full protection of all diplomats, says FM Momen cited how the government of Bangladesh addressed the concerns regarding the digital security act. Responding to a question on the formal inauguration of Dhaka Metro Rail, Momen said the government remains grateful to Japan for their uninterrupted support despite the Holey Artisan attack that left over 20 people, including Japanese citizens, dead.
Momen ‘surprised’ to see his name as chief guest at Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022 opening
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen says he was surprised to see his name as the “chief guest” at the inaugural session of Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022. “It’s very unfortunate,” Momen said while responding to a question at a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. Read more: Diplomats should remember Bangladesh is an independent, sovereign country: Momen The foreign minister said he attended a programme marking 7,000 episodes of the television talk show “Tritiyo Matra” where CGS Executive Director Zillur Rahman verbally talked about the event. “We didn’t give him any date. This is very strange,” Momen said. The Foreign Minister said he was not going there and at this moment he is very busy with many foreign guests. Read more: Russian FM Lavrov’s changed decision on Dhaka visit understandable: Momen “I have plenty of people to meet, including MPs from Assam. I have an obligation to meet them bilaterally (IORA ministers). We are very busy with the state jobs,” he added. The three-day Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022 began at a Dhaka hotel on Monday.