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Bangladesh not blind follower of China: Foreign Minister Momen

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Dhaka

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Saturday that his country follows a balanced and independent foreign policy and is not subordinate to any country. Momen also said that its relations with neighbouring India are as strong as a rock. He said we are in a golden chapter in our relations with India.

“Some people think we are running towards China, but (actually) we are not running towards anyone,” Momen said in an interaction with members of the Diplomatic Reporters Association of Bangladesh (DCAB) at the Foreign Service Academy here. Are.’ He described China as a development partner but ruled out any possibility that Bangladesh could fall into the Chinese debt trap. This is a misconception, he said. Some pundits say so and many believe it, especially some foreign institutions. Momen said that under no circumstances will we get trapped in China’s debt trap.

The Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh is not subordinate to any country and especially Dhaka has never tilted towards China as it maintains a balanced and independent foreign policy. He said, ‘We are not anyone’s tail… We are not China’s hangers-on.’ The Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh is prudent in taking foreign loans. He said, ‘We don’t take unnecessary loans’.

He described Dhaka’s ties with India as ‘strong as a rock’ and said, ‘We are in a golden chapter of our relations with India.’ He said that relations between Bangladesh and America are also good and according to US President Joe Biden himself, Washington wants to improve relations with Bangladesh. Momen said Dhaka maintains close ties with Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. He said, ‘We have good relations with all countries. That is why when we contest any election in the United Nations, we win.

Momen’s remarks come at a time when Dhaka-Washington ties are being considered at a critical juncture since last year over Bangladesh’s political landscape ahead of general elections due in early January 2024. The US has raised questions over the human rights situation and political inclusiveness, while last year it imposed visa restrictions on several current and former officers of the anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) over alleged extrajudicial killings.

The US issued a warning last month that it would restrict the visas of anyone, including law enforcement officials and political activists, who would hinder the conduct of free and credible elections in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina criticized the US move and in a recent press conference pointed to the US not resorting to selling off any national assets or compromising on the country’s sovereignty to remain in power. Will not take

On sanctions, Hasina said that Bangladesh is not afraid of sanctions. He directed the concerned authorities of Bangladesh to stop buying anything from the countries which have imposed an embargo on Bangladesh. Later, Hasina said, “I do not want to return to power by giving St. Martin’s Island (in the Bay of Bengal) on lease.” The US State Department quickly responded to his remarks on June 21, saying that the US had not discussed annexing the St Martin island and that Washington respected the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

China last month appreciated its response to the US sanctions against RAB, saying it was a reflection of the minds of its people as well as a large part of the global community, especially in the developing world. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina not only spoke about the strong position of the Bangladeshi people, but also the strong position of the Bangladeshi people, but also in the minds of a large part of the international community, especially in the developing world,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, told reporters in Beijing in response to a question. Also talked about.

When asked about China’s stand regarding Bangladesh, Momen refused to comment, saying, “It is their (Beijing’s) comment, we have nothing to say about it.” According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if more than 55 per cent of a country’s external debt comes from a single source or country, it may be at risk of a debt trap.

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