Though he termed his country’s interaction with the sitting government in Bangladesh not a business as usual, US Ambassador Dan W Mozena on Tuesday night said they will continue their support for the people of Bangladesh and strengthen its democratic process.
The US envoy made the remark while talking to reporters after an hour-long meeting with BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office on Tuersdasu evening . It was the first meeting of the US envoy with the BNP chief after the January 5 national election.
Mozena said, “We’ll continue to engage with this government in support of all-out programmes for the people of Bangladesh. About other programmes, we’ll assess on case by case basis.” Asked whether USAID will continue its works with the current Parliament, the US diplomat said, he said, “I think likely, end engagement of some of our programmes in Parliament “.
About the meeting, Mozena said he gave the preview of testimony of US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal that is being placed before the hearing arranged by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington. Besides, Mozena said, he had also discussions with the BNP chief about the upazila elections.
BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, and BNP chairperson’s advisers Osman Faruk and Reaz Rahman were, among others, present at the meeting.
Briefing the reporters about the meeting, Mobin said Khaleda told the US envoy that the country’s people have no confidence in the ‘so-called’ current government. “They (govt) didn’t assume office with people’s mandate which has been proved clearly in the January 5 election. Even, five percent people didn’t go to cast their votes,” he quoted Khaleda as telling the US envoy.
The BNP chief also voiced concern that the country is heading towards a deep uncertainty and said the only way to overcome it is to initiate a dialogue between Awami League and BNP.
“It’s a demand of the country’s people that the government hold an acceptable fresh election to restore normalcy in the country,” Khaleda told Mozena.
Earlier on December 31 last year, Mozena met Khaleda at her Gulshan residence amid the allegation that the government had kept her under house arrest ahead of the 10th parliamentary polls.
Source: Weekly Holiday