Kerry seeks govt’s action to peacefully end violence

United States Secretary of State John Kerry has called for Bangladesh government’s action to peacefully end the recent violence in the country and pulled up on political parties for targeting the civilians during agitation.

Secretary of State John Kerry participates in the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Foreign Fighter Ministerial at the State Department in Washington February 19. Photo: Reuters

“The Secretary called for government action to peacefully end the recent violence, underscored the government’s role in ensuring peaceful political expression for all political parties, and emphasised the need for a free and fair media that plays a constructive role in ensuring human rights,” a State Department Official said.

In the meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohmood Ali, he condemned the targeting the civilians by political parties and stressed the need for oppositions parties to cease such attacks immediately, reports The Economic Times quoting PTI.

He stated there can be no tolerance for tactics that target innocent citizens or inhibit political expression in a democratic Bangladesh, the official said.

Kerry met Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mohmmod Ali at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on the sidelines of the three-day White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism which concluded yesterday.

The summit was attended by leaders from more than 70 countries. Ali was leading the Bangladeshi delegation.

During the meeting, Kerry offered renewed US support to help achieve a political solution that returns Bangladesh to its democratic foundations. The two leaders also discussed bilateral relationship and other regional issues.

Kerry conveyed his appreciation for the close relations the United States shares with Bangladesh.

“They discussed Bangladesh’s economic growth and gains in development, as well as our shared efforts to address climate change and improve labor conditions,” the official said.

Bangladesh has decided to form special tribunals to hold trials of rioters and arsonists under a tough anti-terrorism law even as continuing political violence in the country has claimed over 100 lives in the past seven weeks.

Bangladesh’s opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist party along with its allies have continued to enforce a nationwide blockade since January 6 as part of their fierce campaign demanding a midterm election, which is otherwise scheduled for 2019.

A press release floated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that John Kerry met Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali today and discussed on a range of Bangladesh-US bilateral relations.

“Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali requested John Kerry to expedite repatriation of Rashed Chowdhury, one of the convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is reportedly hiding in USA,” it read.

John Kerry responded positively to an invitation by Mahmood Ali to visit Bangladesh and said that he would love to take the visit at the earliest opportunity, it said.“John Kerry applauded Bangladesh for its huge success in the socio-economic fields and said that the US would be happy to continue expanding its cooperation with Bangladesh.”

Courtesy: Star Online Report