US reiterates call for dialogue between major political parties in Bangladesh

Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says his country believes the future of the Bangladesh government should be determined by its people

Published : 14 Nov 2023, 08:52 AM
Updated : 14 Nov 2023, 08:52 AM

The US state department has spoken on the letter from US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu calling for unconditional discussions between the three largest political parties in Bangladesh amid the unrest ahead of the 12th national election.

Spokesperson Matthew Miller, however, declined to answer several other questions on the current political situation in the country on Thursday, stating that his country believes the future of the Bangladesh government should be determined by its people.

US Assistant Secretary of State Lu sent letters to three major Bangladeshi political parties - the Awami League, the BNP, and the Jatiya Party - urging them to engage in dialogue without preconditions in an effort to hold free, fair and peaceful elections.

US Ambassador to Dhaka Peter Haas is scheduled to sit with the three parties to present his country’s four-point stand regarding the general election.

The BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and other opposition parties have been staging demonstrations demanding the resignation of the current government and for the general election to be held under an impartial caretaker government. The ruling Awami League has refused to bring back the interim government model which has been barred by the top court.

The unrest and political divisions have revived decades-old tactics of prolonged transport blockades and violence, prompting public concern.

Asked how a dialogue could be held when so many opposition leaders were in prison, Miller said, "I welcome the attempts by various reporters to draw me into internal Bangladeshi political matters, and I’m going to continue to refrain from doing so."

"The United States does not take a side in Bangladeshi elections. We do not support one political party over the other. We support free and fair elections, period."