The Financial Express

Bangladesh dismisses Pompeo's al-Qaeda remark as baseless

| Updated: January 14, 2021 18:49:56

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US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo seen in this undated AP photo US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo seen in this undated AP photo
Bangladesh has strongly protested against "baseless remarks and falsification" by US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo tagging Bangladesh with terrorist group al-Qaeda.

In his recent statement, Pompeo mentioned Bangladesh as a place where the terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out attacks, falsely apprehending similar terrorist attacks in future.

"Such irresponsible comment by a senior leader is very unfortunate and unacceptable," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a protest note on Wednesday.

Bangladesh strongly rejected this kind of "baseless remarks and falsification", it said, pointing out that there is no evidence of any presence of al-Qaeda in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, maintains a “zero-tolerance” policy against all forms of terrorism and violent extremism, and has been undertaking all possible measures and actions to address the menace, MoFA said.

"Our track record in countering terrorism has earned us global appreciation," it said.

In line with the commitment to countering terrorism, Bangladesh has become a party to all 14 international counter-terrorism conventions and are actively involved with international ‘preventive’ initiatives to counter terrorism.

"Bangladesh considers that the US Secretary of State’s referring to Bangladesh as a possible location for al-Qaeda operations, is indeed unfounded and offers no evidence," MoFA said.

If any such claim could be substantiated with evidence, the government of Bangladesh would be happy to take necessary measures against such activities, Dhaka said.

"However, if such a statement is made out of speculation, Bangladesh considers it very unfortunate, specially in the context of the ever-growing bilateral ties between the two friendly countries based on shared values, peace and common goals," reads the statement issued by MoFA.

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