21 May 2024, 18:05
Update : 21 May 2024, 21:41

Sanction on Aziz not under US visa policy: Hasan

DHAKA, May 21, 2024 (BSS) - Foreign minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud today said that the US sanction on former Bangladesh army Chief General (retd) Aziz Ahmed is not under the US “3C” visa policy which was announced by Washington to help Dhaka holding free, fair, and peaceful national polls.

“US did not impose visa restriction on him (Aziz) under the US visa policy (3c) which was announced before the election. They made the decision against him under a different policy,” he said.  
The foreign minister explained that the US visa policy, which was announced for Bangladeshi nationals before the January 7 election, is under Section 212(a)(3)(C)(“3C”)of the Immigration and Nationality Act, but Washington imposed visa restriction on General (retd) Aziz under Section 7031(c) of the annual Department of State, Foreign operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

Dr Hasan was speaking at “Meet the Reporters” event organized by the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) at its auditorium in the capital.
DRU President Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo chaired the event while its general secretary Mohi Uddin moderated.

The foreign minister said the US authority had beforehand informed the Bangladesh mission in Washington about the decision against the former Army chief.

He said that the Bangladesh government has taken a zero tolerance policy against corruption as actions have been taken against some Awami League leaders in this regard.

Hasan said Bangladesh remains engaged with the US and working together on combating corruption, terrorism, human trafficking and other issues.

Talking about US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu's recent visit to Bangladesh, the foreign minister said that the US high official visited here with a “positive note”.

He said Lu stated that the US wants advancement of the relationship with Bangladesh putting aside the issues which created confusion in Dhaka-Washington tie.  

"We (Bangladesh) think the same way as the US and we are also working in this regard," Hasan added.

Responding to a query on misquoting him during a recent US state department briefing, the foreign minister said, "I talked to the press based on facts and what is true".
"Someone is there (at State Department) who used to work for Khaleda Zia's press wing. He is paid by BNP. He asks questions purposefully to try and get negative answers about Bangladesh. He asks questions intentionally," he said.
Hasan was referring to Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, former assistant press secretary to the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

While briefing media after his meeting with Donald Lu in Dhaka last week on the GSP issue, the foreign minister actually said, the US wants to help Bangladesh get it back when the programme is reintroduced.

Hasan said, Bangladesh and the US are working on the labour front to further improve the overall conditions in line with the US desire.

Regarding ongoing conflict in Middle East, the foreign minister said Dhaka welcomed the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's appeal against Israel for committing war crimes in Gaza.

This plea of the prosecutor at the ICC reflected the world’s community’s emotion and demand on the crimes against humanity, he said.  

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