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‘US sanctions a warning, not punishment’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 17 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Sunday said the US sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and some of its current and former officials are not a punishment, but intended to warn Bangladesh.

He made the comments while talking to reporters after US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller made farewell call on him at the Secretariat.

The minister told the US envoy that it is very unfortunate that Bangladesh was considered like North Korea and Myanmar in terms of the sanctions.

“The US government takes the issue of human rights very seriously. They’ve lauded Bangladesh for successfully curbing militancy. They think in some cases human rights have been violated. That needs to be improved. They hope it will improve,” he added.

Razzaque said, “I told them that the human rights situation in our country is good. No incident of human rights violation took place in the country.      Bangladesh has cracked down hard on militancy. In some cases, law enforcement agencies might have made mistakes and for that 190 RAB officers have been punished.”

He said the US ambassador will discuss the issue with senior government officials when he returns to his country so that the sanctions are lifted soon.

At the meeting, Razzaque and Miller also discussed agriculture, economy, global and regional issues.

The minister said the US has provided significant support for developing agricultural research system in Bangladesh.

Miller said Bangladesh is the 26th largest market for US agricultural products and the cooperation between the two countries on agriculture will increase in the coming days.