June 24, 2024, 3:37 am

Staff Correspondent

2024-05-21 20:39:56 BdST

US sanction on Aziz not under visa policy: Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has said that the government of Bangladesh has taken a zero tolerance policy on combating corruption and will continue to work with the United States on this issue. 

“For combating corruption, we are working with the US. We want to work together and will continue to do that," he told reporters. 

Hasan was speaking at a “meet the reporters” programme today organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).

DRU President Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo and General Secretary Mohiuddin also spoke at the event.

Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the US decision against former army chief General Aziz Ahmed was not under the visa policy. 

It was made under Section 7031(c) of the annual Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.  

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh remains engaged with the US and the two countries are working together on combating terrorism, human trafficking and other issues. 

He said the decision regarding the ex army chief was first conveyed to the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington.

The US Department of State on Monday announced the public designation of General Aziz Ahmed, previously Chief of the Bangladesh Army Staff, due to what it says was his involvement in "significant corruption".

This action renders Aziz and his immediate family members generally ineligible for entering the United States.

His actions have contributed to the undermining of Bangladesh’s democratic institutions and the public’s faith in public institutions and processes, the US State Department said.

"Aziz Ahmed engaged in significant corruption by interfering in public processes while helping his brother evade accountability for criminal activity in Bangladesh," said the US Department of State. 

Aziz also worked closely with his brother to ensure the improper awarding of military contracts and accepted bribes in exchange for government appointments for his personal benefit, it claimed.

"This designation reaffirms the US commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and rule of law in Bangladesh," said the US government.

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