According to a statement from the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, “there is no evidence of the presence of Al Qaeda” in the South Asian nation.
Bangladesh strongly condemned the words of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling the South Asian country the place where the al-Qaeda group carried out attacks.
“Such irresponsible comments from a senior leader are very regrettable and unacceptable. Bangladesh strongly rejects such baseless and false remarks, ”Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
In a statement published the day before on the website of the US State Department, Pompeo implicated certain countries as “terrorist centers”, drawing criticism from several quarters.
He also called Iran a new Al-Qaeda home port, a remark also protested by Tehran.
“Also imagine the potential to completely disrupt fragile places with an established al-Qaeda presence like Libya, Yemen and the Maghreb, or to increase unrest in places like Bangladesh, where al-Qaeda cells Qaeda carried out attacks, ”Pompeo said in the statement.
In response, the Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry statement said that “there is no evidence of the presence of Al Qaeda” in the predominantly Muslim country and stressed that it maintains a policy of ” zero tolerance ”against all forms of“ terrorism and violent extremism ”.
“The attention of the government of Bangladesh has been drawn to a recent statement by US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo. In the statement, Pompeo mentioned Bangladesh as a place where the al-Qaeda terrorist group has carried out attacks, mistakenly apprehending similar terrorist attacks in the future, ”the ministry said.
“Our record in the fight against terrorism has earned us worldwide recognition. In accordance with our commitment to fight terrorism, we have become party to the fourteen international conventions against terrorism and we are actively involved in international “preventive” initiatives to combat terrorism. “
The ministry said Bangladesh viewed Pompeo by referring to the country as a possible location for Al Qaeda operations as baseless.
“If such an allegation could be substantiated by evidence, the government of Bangladesh would be happy to take necessary action against such activities,” he said.
Bangladesh considers it “very regrettable, especially in the context of the ever-growing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, based on shared values, peace and common goals,” the statement said.