The reports of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam's "supposed" visit to India to attend a conference in New Delhi are misleading, the government said on Saturday.
The foreign ministry said that it had notified organizers Observer Research Foundation (ORF) that State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam is unable to join Raisina Dialogue, to be organized by (ORF) in New Delhi from January 14, as he had already been scheduled to accompany Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her UAE visit.
"It may be noted that there was no bilateral engagement scheduled during the visit. The inability of his participation has no other connection," the ministry said in a statement.
Several Indian media outlets have reported that Alam cancelled his participation in Raisina Dialogue due to the passage of a new law offering citizenship to non-Muslims persecuted in different countries, including Bangladesh, and the omission of 1.9 million from a list of citizens in Assam.
Amid violent protests in India over the citizenship law last month, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan had cancelled their visits to the country.
Momen cited a "busy schedule" ahead of the December 16 Victory Day as the reason behind the decision while an official at Khan's ministry said he would visit India at a "suitable time" later.The two ministers had cancelled the visits due to "state engagements" and it should not be construed as "a boycott", the ruling Awami League said.
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