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US reiterates call for free, fair polls in Bangladesh

Update : 20 Dec 2023, 16:13

The US State Department on Tuesday reiterated that it supports a free and fair election in Bangladesh.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller at a regular press briefing in Washington DC stated, "We support a free and fair election in Bangladesh, and I don't have any further comment from that."

He was responding to a question about a Russian foreign ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova saying that attempts can be made to destabilise Bangladesh, like in the Arab Spring, if the results of the January 7 polls are not satisfactory for the US.

On December 15, Zakharova said there were serious reasons to fear that in the coming weeks an even wider arsenal of pressure, including sanctions, may be used against the government of Bangladesh, which is undesirable to the West.

On May 24 this year, the US said it would impose visa restrictions on individuals and their immediate family members "if they are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh".

Zakharova added on December 15, "If the results of the people's will are not satisfactory to the United States, attempts to further destabilise the situation in Bangladesh along the lines of the 'Arab Spring' are likely."

State Department Spokesperson Miller was also asked if the Biden administration was concerned about yesterday's arson attack on a train in Dhaka that left four, including a mother and her three-year-old son, dead.

"So I'm just not familiar with that specific incident and don't have a comment on it."

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