Published:  02:27 AM, 26 May 2023

'Nothing to worry about new US visa policy'

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said there is nothing to worry about the newly announced US visa policy, noting that the government is neither feeling pressure nor any discomfort.

With this announcement, he hoped that parties which resort to violence, arson and destruction would remain cautious.

"We don't want arson, violence and destruction. I hope these acts will come down," Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when his comment was sought, UNB reports.

Responding to a question, Momen said they are not under any additional pressure from the US, noting that the relationship with the US is excellent.
"We are not sure. It is yet to be tested. We do not know yet how helpful it will be. He (Ambassador Haas) could not tell whether they have become successful by applying such policy in any other country," he told reporters after his meeting with US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas.

Describing the letter he received from the US Secretary of State as very encouraging, Momen said Bangladesh Awami League is committed to holding a free and fair election. 

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants free and fair elections and this policy will further strengthen her position.
"We want free and fair elections. Our Prime Minister is committed to it," Momen said, adding that Awami League always believes in voters.
The Foreign Minister said they see very positively that they received from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This policy supports Prime Minister Hasina's stated commitment to hold free and fair elections in Bangladesh, Momen said, quoting the letter.
He mentioned the use of transparent ballot boxes that made the norm to establish confidence among the electorates as well as the polling officials and agents.Momen also mentioned a strong National Election Commission is in place.

He said all parties will have to have political commitment for a free and fair election.
Asked whether the government accepts or rejects the new visa policy, Momen said there is nothing to accept or reject as this is a policy announced by the US.

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