EU determined to stay engaged with Bangladesh, urges international unity after Dhaka terror attack

The European Union envoy in Dhaka has said they are ‘determined’ to stay engaged with Bangladesh after the July 1 terror attack as businessmen have vowed to defeat the terrorist forces.

Published : 10 August 2016, 05:18 PM
Updated : 10 August 2016, 06:22 PM

Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon on Wednesday also called upon the international community to be “united” for Bangladesh “to teach terrorists a lesson”.
He was speaking at an event organised by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in remembrance of all those who lost their lives in the July 1 terror attack on a Dhaka cafe.
Of the 20 hostages who were killed, nine were Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one Bangladeshi-American and two Bangladeshis including Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, son of Waquer Hossain and Simeen Hossain, a committee member of the MCCI.
Following the unprecedented attack, western countries have issued travel warnings strongly discouraging their citizens to travel to Bangladesh.
The top business body FBCCI’s President Abdul Matlub Ahmad at the programme said terrorists will not succeed in Bangladesh.
“We still remain hopeful about our future,” he said, urging the countries to lift their warnings.

“So many actions have been taken. Bangladesh is now much safer now than it was before the July 1 attack,” he said.

“But many countries have issued red alerts on Bangladesh. The red alert is hurting us. We strongly urge those countries to kindly see that the government is doing its level best. It is (terrorism) happening not in Bangladesh only.
“It’s a developing country. It needs business. Please try to understand Bangladesh is hurting. We assure you that your security is the responsibility of all Bangladeshis.”

The EU ambassador termed the victims “martyrs” and said with their blood, “they have added an additional layer to the already so rich relations that we have with Bangladesh”.
“Their sacrifice has created for us additional obligation, an obligation of unity,” he said, adding that international unity is “equally critical” as national unity is being widely discussed.
He said with the international unity, there can be cooperation in many ways including investigations in best standards.
“I think we owe it to the martyrs.”
He echoed the FBCCI president and said “our obligation is to stay engaged.”
“The terrorists and those who inspired them wanted to teach us a lesson. By staying united and engaged, we’ll teach them a lesson.”
US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, High Commissioner of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Italian Chargé d'affaires Giuseppe Semenza also spoke at the programme.
Leaders of different business groups including FBCCI also spoke at the programme that began with the observance of a minute’s silence in honour of the victims.
“None of us will step back,” the Italian diplomat said. “The enemies of friendship and freedom will never win.”
“We’ll stay together with Bangladesh friends. We’ll all fight against them,” he said.

Pierre Mayaudon

US Ambassador Bernicat encouraged the businessmen to continue to speak out and condemn these acts of violence and to oppose extremism.
“The answer to the current uncertainty is not to shut down business and to shut people out,” she said.
“A forceful response from the government would help overcome the current crisis and ensure the security of businesses and all Bangladeshi citizens.” 
She said the US remained committed to acting jointly with the government.
Appreciating the prime minister’s “unflagging” commitment to fight terror, Bernicat said the government should work with the business community “to provide a clear, authoritative message and to enact its strategy in a collaborative and transparent manner”.
Indian High Commissioner Shringla said the terrorist left “a deep and painful impact on many of us gathered here this evening”. 
He reiterated India’s strong support in the fight against terrorism.
He referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that Bangladesh was not alone in its fight against terror, the people of India stood firmly with it.
“We look forward to working with the government of Bangladesh in its efforts to defeat the forces of terrorism, and the ideologies of fundamentalism and extremism,” he said.

Latifur Rahman, former MCCI president and grandfather of Faraaz, said the July 1 was a “game-changer” for Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh will overcome this without a doubt. The business community will have to stand together to fight off the terrorists.” He said there is no question of giving up to terrorists.
Former foreign secretary Farook Sobhan said the July 1 is a “turning point” for Bangladesh. “We need to develop a comprehensive strategy to respond to the challenge.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher