Highlighting the importance of peace and stability for greater development, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said Bangladesh does not want to see any proxy war in the region.
“Our main goal is that we do not want to see any proxy war here. Problems remain there where we see proxy war despite having resources. Europe has fallen into proxy war and is facing challenges,” he told reporters, noting that there might be efforts to make the countries in the region weaker.
Momen said Bangladesh has taken a leadership role in the region and other countries acknowledge this. “This is good for us.”
The foreign minister named countries like Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia, which are emerging as important partners in the region.
Responding to a question on external pressure ahead of the next national election, Momen said they nev-er felt any pressure but they want to make sure that the election is conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
Mentioning India, the US and the European Union, Momen said they are Bangladesh’s friends and de-velopment partners.
“We have a long-standing relationship with these countries. We have multifaceted relations with them,” said the foreign minister.
Momen said the US stood against Bangladesh during the war of Liberation in 1971 and sided with Paki-stan, but the US started supporting Bangladesh since Bangladesh achieved its independence.
“Otherwise, they (US) have been supportive to us. We have been maintaining very good relations with India since independence and the two countries are passing through a golden chapter in their relations. And the EU is a big market for us,” he explained.
Responding to a question about the BNP, Momen said it is not a democratic party but a terrorists’ party. “Nobody likes terrorists. They have a lack of maturity.”
The foreign minister said they want continuation of the democratic trend in the country and do not want destruction of democracy. “We do not want terrorism. These are the goals of the Western countries. We are with them.”
He said they want to demonstrate that Bangladesh can hold a free, fair and acceptable election. “We are the only country where people sacrificed their lives for democracy.”
Responding to a question, Momen said the US should come forward and keep its commitment by apply-ing their visa policy against those who are trying to obstruct the polls.
“I will be very happy if they really apply visa policy on those who will disrupt the polls. But it is their matter,” he said.
Momen said they (BNP) are terrorists though they talk about democracy. “No one likes terrorists.”
The foreign minister said there is no reason to get panicked and this time the Election Commission is very strong. He urged all to come forward and cast their votes in festive mood.
He said Bangladesh has become a place of attraction for many due to its growing export, investment op-portunities and its balanced foreign policy. “Our foreign policy has created a significant impact.”