Bangladesh FM Momen sees regional benefits in India’s message to US

Asked if the foreign ministry has any comment about India's message to the United States regarding Bangladesh, the foreign minister said they have "no comment".

August 20, 2023 11:49 am

Foreign Minister AK Abudl Momen. File Photo: Collected
Foreign Minister AK Abudl Momen. File Photo: Collected

Dhaka: Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said India is a mature democracy with a mature government system and they can speak for regional interests.

“If they [India] say something for themselves and for the regional peace and stability of others, it will surely benefit the region,” the minister said during a press conference organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (20 August) regarding the BRICS Summit.

Asked if the foreign ministry has any comment about India’s message to the United States regarding Bangladesh, the foreign minister said they have “no comment”.

He said, “They [India] do what they think is good. We have no reason to say anything about it.”

Earlier on Friday (19 August), German-based Deutsche Welle (DW) and Indian media Anandabazar quoted diplomatic sources saying a message has been conveyed to Washington that “New Delhi is not happy with the current role of the United States in the upcoming national elections in Bangladesh.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Johannesburg, South Africa on August 22 to attend the BRICS Summit and hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines while there, reports the UNB.

“We will arrange a number of meetings on the sidelines. These are yet to get final shape as such meetings are finalised at the last minute. It is in the process,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and ministry spokesperson Seheli Sabrin, among others, were present.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the government is planning to hold a number of meetings both in South Africa and India.

“As we will have limited time in South Africa, we will try to hold those meetings [with heads of governments and states] that are possible while the rest can take place in New Delhi,” he said.

Around 22 countries have shown interest to be members of the BRICS and the five original members are trying to build consensus among them to take new members, the foreign minister said.

“We don’t know when the new members will join,” Momen said.

Indian Prime Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the global leaders who are travelling to the African country this week.

They will be visiting Johannesburg, South Africa from August 22 to 24 to attend the 15th BRICS Summit at the invitation of Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa.

Modi will hold bilateral meetings with some of the leaders present in Johannesburg, said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs without mentioning names.

Prime Minister Hasina will also attend the G20 Summit in India in September.

The 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10 will be a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies.

A G20 Leaders’ Declaration will be adopted at the conclusion of the New Delhi Summit, stating leaders’ commitment towards the priorities discussed and agreed upon during the respective ministerial and working group meetings.

Foreign Minister Momen had said New Delhi will be better than Johannesburg for a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi. The two countries are already in touch regarding the meeting.

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