Thursday, 23 September, 2021
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Dhaka turns down Washington’s request to temporarily shelter people from Afghanistan

Dhaka turns down Washington’s request to temporarily shelter people from Afghanistan

Bangladesh has rejected a request from the United States to give temporary shelter to some people from Afghanistan, saying Bangladesh is already in a big problem by giving shelter to over 1.1 million Rohingyas.

“Yes, we’ve received a request from the US. We thanked them but rejected the request,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told UNB over phone.

Asked from which level the request came from the US, the Foreign Minister said it came from diplomatic channels both from Washington and in Dhaka.

Dr Momen said the US is a friendly country to Bangladesh and conveyed the message to them that Bangladesh is already facing many problems by giving shelter to the Rohingyas.

“Don’t put us into further trouble,” he said, mentioning what Bangladesh conveyed to the US side after receiving the request.

The US side first reached out to the Bangladesh Ambassador in Washington with the request which was later conveyed to Dhaka.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh wanted to know the name of the countries that the US requested for giving people from Afghanistan a temporary shelter and how many in numbers. “No specific reply was found.”

Earlier, the Foreign Minister Bangladesh will welcome the new government in Afghanistan if it is a government supported by its people.

“We believe in people’s government. We believe in a government which is liked by its people. We believe in democratic government,” he said, adding that Bangladesh’s door will surely remain open if the Taliban government becomes a government supported by its people.

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh believes in friendship to all countries and Bangladesh will extend support if any government seeks support from Bangladesh.

He said Afghanistan is a friendly country to Bangladesh and a member State of Saarc. “Bangladesh wants their (Afghanistan) development.”

Responding to a question, Dr Momen said there were some terrorists in Bangladesh who were trained in Afghanistan. “We’ve uprooted them and there’s no scope to see their reemergence here.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in a statement, said Bangladesh is carefully observing the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan, which, Bangladesh believes, may have an impact on the region and beyond.

"We urge all stakeholders in Afghanistan to maintain peace and calm ensuring safety and security of all including foreign nationals," said the Ministry in a statement.