Foreign Minister Momen cancels New Delhi visit

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 16:58, Dec 12, 2019 | Updated : 21:23, Dec 12, 2019

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen addressing the media at the State Guest House Jamuna in Dhaka with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 Focus BanglaForeign Minister AK Abdul Momen has cancelled his visit to India, says the ministry.

Momen was scheduled to fly for Delhi on Thursday (Dec 12) for a three-day visit to attend the Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI, as well as hold talks on bilateral issues with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

"The minister had to cancel the visit as he will be participating in the Victory Day (Dec 16) programmes," said, Touhidul Islam, the public relations officer of the ministry,

Besides that, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam is out of the country in Madrid and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque is in The Hague, he said before adding: "The minister is likely to go India next month.

The cancellation also comes amid violent protests in North-East India over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The bill, which looks to make Indian citizens of non-Muslim refugees facing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, has been targeted over discrimination on religious grounds and claims it violates Article 14 of the Constitution.

Following green lights from the Cabinet and lower house, India's upper house passed the bill on Wednesday (Dec 11).

Hours earlier the parliament cleared the bill, Foreign Minister Momen told the media in Dhaka that the Bill could weaken India’s historic character as a secular nation and rejected the allegations that the minorities are facing religious persecution in Bangladesh.

“India is historically a tolerant country which beliefs in secularism (but) their historic position will be weakened if they deviate from that,” he said.

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