AL for informal talks over the phone: Quader

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Dhaka, July 27: The Awami League (AL) has rejected the BNP’s proposal for formal dialogue on the next general election for years continuously but they suggested for holding informal talks over the phone.Speaking to reporters after visiting metrorail work at Agargaon in Dhaka on Friday, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader made it clear that he was not proposing any formal dialogue with the BNP.

The BNP sees hope in the message Quader wanted to send.

“We don’t think formal dialogue is necessary only three months before the announcement of election schedule. But we can have an understanding and anyone can speak to me on the phone for this,” the road transport and bridges minister said.

Referring to recent phone conversations and meeting with Krishak Sramik Janata League President Abdul Kader Siddique, the AL leader said: “Informal talks can be held, at least over the phone, if not face-to-face meeting.”

Quader also suggested phone conversations to ‘cut the gap between the leaders of his party and the BNP’.

“Does everything have to be confined to formalities? Can’t we talk? What’s the problem in speaking over phone?” he asked.

“But please note that this is not an invitation for a dialogue. Don’t misinterpret it,” he added.

In immediate reactions to Quader’s comments, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a news briefing: “We’ve been informed about the advance message. It’s a good message that can make us optimistic.”

“We will respond if he calls us on the phone,” he added.

Mirza Fakhrul also reiterated their proposal for a formal dialogue with the Awami League.

“We are always ready for talks,” he said.