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Bangladesh ruling party rules out US proposal for talks ahead of polls

Dhaka, Nov 17: Bangladesh ruling party in a reply to the United States has said that they did not have ‘enough time’ for holding dialogue with political parties over the next general election scheduled to be held on January 7.

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday responded to US assistant secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu’s letter that called for dialogue without precondition among political parties for free, fair and peaceful election.

Confirming handing over the letter signed by Obaidul Quader, AL central executive committee member Mohammad A Arafat said, ‘I handed over the letter to US embassy’s acting deputy chief of mission Arturo Hines Friday afternoon.’

In the letter, Quader said, ‘Bangladesh Awami League had, for many months, kept the door open for unconditional dialogue with other political parties. However, such a dialogue could not be realised as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] was, and remains, adamant on the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Government as a prerequisite for holding any such dialogue.’

He said that if AL were on board to sit with the BNP and others, amidst the ongoing blockades and the principal demand of such programmes, the conditions simply did not exist for holding any meaningful dialogue.

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