Monday, February 4, 2008

US asks govt to sit with political parties

US asks govt to sit with political parties

Dhaka, Feb 3 ( – The United States Sunday urged the caretaker government to have talks with political parties and other stakeholders to hold the parliamentary polls by year-end.

The US also stressed implementation of the election roadmap for holding general elections. "(We) emphasise the importance of dialogue between the government, civil society, political parties, the private sector, and international partners," Donald Camp, the US principal deputy assistant secretary, told journalists after meeting foreign secretary Md Touhid Hossain in the city.

Camp, who came on a two-day visit to Bangladesh Sunday, had bilateral talks for about half an hour.

He is the senior most US official to have visited Bangladesh since the caretaker government assumed office in Jan last year.

"We support the caretaker government and stress the importance of implementation of the electoral roadmap," Camp said at the press briefing.

He was sanguine of the elections taking place on schedule to pave the way for power to be handed over to an elected government.

On whether the government should lift the state of emergency, Camp said, "Already some restrictions on political parties have been lifted. We will welcome if some more are lifted".

Camp is scheduled to hold talks with foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Monday.

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