'Deliberate mischaracteristion': US dismisses Russian claims of meddling in Bangladesh polls

The US says it does not support any political party in Bangladesh and reiterates it call for free and fair elections

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 25 Nov 2023, 10:46 AM
Updated : 25 Nov 2023, 10:46 AM

Washington has hit back at Russia's claim that US envoy in Dhaka Peter Haas was aiding the opposition's antigovernment campaign in Bangladesh ahead of the national elections.

The State Department termed accusations of election interference made by Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as a "deliberate mischaracterisation" of US foreign policy.

During a weekly media briefing on Nov 22, Zakharova alleged that Haas had met with opposition leaders in October to discuss plans for organising antigovernment rallies, thereby displaying an "open disregard" for the Vienna Convention.

She also contended that Bangladesh possesses the capability to conduct "transparent and inclusive elections" without foreign intervention, accusing Washington of meddling in the country's internal affairs.

Responding to Zakharova's allegations, the State Department said, "We are aware of Zakharova’s deliberate mischaracterisation of US foreign policy and Ambassador Haas’s meetings.

"The United States does not support any political party in Bangladesh nor does the United States favour one political party over another."

The US reiterated its call for free, fair and peaceful elections in Bangladesh to uphold the will of the people.

"To support that shared goal of free and fair elections conducted in a peaceful manner, US Embassy personnel engage and will continue to engage with the government, opposition, civil society, and other stakeholders to urge them to work together for the benefit of the Bangladeshi people."