Government forms committee to scrutinise Chinese proposal for joining GDI, says Shahriar
'US failure to send back Bangabandhu killer is an irritant in ties’FE Online Report
May 31, 2023 10:38 AM
May 31, 2023 10:47 AM
The government has set up a committee to scrutinise the Chinese proposal for joining the Global Development Initiative (GDI), said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Wednesday.
Addressing an event organised by a local Bangladesh Daily in Dhaka city, the state minister also pointed out that the final decision regarding joining the GDI will be taken after assessing the pros and cons of the Chinese proposal.
He informed that the foreign ministry has yet to get details on the proposal.
"During his visit to Bangladesh last year, former Chinese Foreign Minister [Wang Yi] raised the issue of GDI and we have yet to reach the stage to disclose anything about it," he said.
He also informed that Bangladesh had earlier joined the Belt and Road Initiative of China, along with many other countries, and so far no problem has arisen from it.
Mr Alam made it clear that Bangladesh is under no pressure from any quarter for not joining or joining the China-sponsored development programme.
In this regard, he reminded the audience about the foreign policy of the country, which is ‘friendship to all and malice to none’.
It seems simple, but it is not easy to maintain in the changing geopolitical situation, the state minister noted, adding that so far the government has been able to pursue this policy successfully.
The state minister said Bangladesh’s ties with the USA have deepened and broadened to an extent that enables them to frankly debate the differences.
The state minister, however, pointed out that the failure of the USA to repatriate Rashed Chowdhury, a self-confessed, convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is ‘a source of deep regret’.
"That is a source of irritation," Mr Alam observed.
Asked about a reported letter by six congressmen to US President Joe Biden, the state minister said he did know whether the report was right or wrong.
He hoped that the United States would take note of the threats being made by their friends in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to obstruct elections as per the constitution.
"There are, of course, speeches, comments and commentaries passed on by our friends in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) threatening that police officers, administration, electoral officials, and whoever will participate in the election, will be dealt with. That’s a serious threat. I hope the US is taking good note of that," he said.
Responding to a question, he said there is no reason to see new sanctions, and the government is absolutely not under any pressure from anywhere.
Responding to a question, he said a free and fair election requires equal political commitments from all political parties.
Shahriar hoped that all political parties would take part in the election, demonstrating their commitment.
Responding to another question, the foreign minister said that some of the points raised in the report, prepared by the UN rapporteur for poverty alleviation, Oliver Schutter, were flawed.
Those issues will be contested by the government in due course, he said, mentioning that his recommendation for providing working rights to the Rohingya refugees in the country is unrealistic.
In this connection, he stated that international organisations on many occasions made wrong observations, as they did while opposing the government's move to shift Rohingyas to Bhasanchar Island.
They termed it a floating island and said it was highly vulnerable, but their observations were proved incorrect during several recent super cyclones as the island was not affected at all.
The government has set up a committee to scrutinise the Chinese proposal for joining the Global Development Initiative (GDI), said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Wednesday. Addressing an event organised by a local Bangladesh Daily in Dhaka city, the state minister also pointed