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US again calls for dialogue over Bangladesh election, AL rejects - EN-vinnabarta

US again calls for dialogue over Bangladesh election, AL rejects

Vinnabarta Desk
  • Update Time : Wednesday, November 15, 2023
  • 18 Time View

The United States on Wednesday once again called on all parties concerned to deescalate violence and find ways for free, fair, and peaceful election in Bangladesh through dialogue.

The ruling Awami League, however, rejected the call.

‘We call upon all sides to deescalate violence and try to find a way to have dialogue without preconditions to improve the election atmosphere,’ US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas said after handing over a letter from his government to AL general secretary Obaidul Quader at the secretariat.

The US envoy reiterated that they were not on any particular political party’s side.

‘We want a free and fair election conducted in a peaceful manner,’ Haas said.

‘What I will say about this. Donald Lu has sent a letter to the Awami League seeking our comment. But we have not given any reply and there is nothing to think about this,’ AL general secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters.

He was asked about the party’s stance on the letter from US assistant secretary at the Bureau of South

and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu for holding dialogue without any precondition.

After receiving Lu’s letter from the US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas, Quader in the morning said that there was no scope for dialogue now. But he would convey the message to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, and let the media know about the outcome.

Replying to a question about whether another election would be held without the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the AL general secretary advised the journalists to ask the question to the BNP.

The US has also called on the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Jatiya Party to engage in dialogue ahead of the next general election in January.

Haas handed over a similar letter from the US assistant secretary to the Jatiya Party and the BNP on Monday.

A US embassy spokesperson earlier told the media that ambassador Haas had requested meetings with senior officials of all three major political parties to underscore the US position regarding the upcoming election.

The letter also reminded the parties of the US visa policy for Bangladeshis announced on May 24.

The development came at a time when senior BNP leaders, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and standing committee members Mirza Abbas and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, were in jail following a clash at the BNP’s Dhaka grand rally on October 28.

Most opposition parties, including the BNP, have been pressing for the resignation of the AL government and holding the election under a non-party caretaker government.