Bangladesh has rejected a request from the United States to give temporary shelter to some people from Afghanistan, saying Bangladesh is already in a big problem by giving shelter to over 1.1 million Rohingyas.
"Yes, we've received a request from the US. We thanked them but rejected the request," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told UNB over phone.
In another programme on Monday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh will welcome the new government in Afghanistan if it is supported by its people.
"We believe in people's government. We believe in a government which is liked by its people. We believe in democratic government," he told reporters, adding that Bangladesh's door will surely remain open if the Taliban government becomes a government supported by its people.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh believes in friendship to all countries, and Bangladesh will extend support if any government seeks support from Bangladesh.
Asked from which level the request came from the US, the foreign minister said it came from diplomatic channels both from Washington and in Dhaka, reports UNB.
Momen said the US is a friendly country to Bangladesh and conveyed the message to them that Bangladesh is already facing many problems by giving shelter to the Rohingyas.
"Don't put us into further trouble," he said, mentioning what Bangladesh conveyed to the US side after receiving the request.
The US side first reached out to the Bangladesh ambassador in Washington with the request which was later conveyed to Dhaka.
Momen said Bangladesh wanted to know the name of the countries that the US requested for giving people from Afghanistan a temporary shelter and how many in numbers. "No specific reply was found."
"We believe in people's government. We believe in a government which is liked by its people. We believe in democratic government," he said, adding that Bangladesh's door will surely remain open if the Taliban government becomes a government supported by its people.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh believes in friendship to all countries and Bangladesh will extend support if any government seeks support from Bangladesh.
He said Afghanistan is a friendly country to Bangladesh and a member State of Saarc. "Bangladesh wants their (Afghanistan) development."
Responding to a question, Momen said there were some terrorists in Bangladesh who were trained in Afghanistan. "We've uprooted them and there's no scope to see their reemergence here."
According to their constitution, if the permanent president and the government take the oath, Bangladesh will take a bilateral decision, he added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in a statement, said Bangladesh is carefully observing the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan, which, Bangladesh believes, may have an impact on the region and beyond.
"We urge all stakeholders in Afghanistan to maintain peace and calm ensuring safety and security of all including foreign nationals," said the Ministry in a statement.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has, meanwhile, said Dhaka will extend a helping hand if a regular government is in power in Afghanistan.
"We do not want to be influenced by any third country to decide on Afghanistan. We want peace in Afghanistan for regional prosperity. The people of Afghanistan have a lot of potential. They use it to stand tall in the world," he said.
"Bangladesh will cooperate in that regard. We are ready for that, but we need a permanent government for that. In the days to come, when we realise that a permanent government has come into power, we will extend a helping hand," he added.
At a press conference on Monday, the state minister also said three Bangladeshis had been repatriated from Afghanistan. The process of bringing back the rest is underway. If any Bangladeshi is in trouble in Afghanistan, the government will take action if he contacts the embassy.
Asked whether he would ban Bangladeshis from travelling to Afghanistan, Shahriar Alam said, "Bangladesh does not have such a practice. Naturally, the people of Bangladesh will not go to a country where law and order is not good. There is nothing new to say. We will discourage you from going to Afghanistan even if we do not say so in writing."