Nothing changed about US desires on meeting aspirations of Bangladeshi people: John Kirby

Nothing changed about US desires on meeting aspirations of Bangladeshi people: John Kirby

Mushfiqul Fazal, White House correspondent

National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, affirmed the enduring commitment of the United States to support the aspirations of the Bangladeshi people, emphasizing the importance of conducting free, fair, and transparent elections.

This statement came during a press conference held at the White House on Wednesday, where Kirby addressed various issues raised by reporters.

Video: NBC

White House correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal questioned Kirby about the recently concluded one-sided election in Bangladesh, which garnered global criticism for its perceived crackdown on opposition. The Guardian characterized the election as being "overshadowed by a ruthless crackdown on opposition," while the Wall Street Journal suggested that it highlighted the limits of President Biden's 'democracy promotion.'

Fazal further probed Kirby on the concerns regarding the Biden administration's perceived limitations on democracy promotion, referencing the earlier commitment to reflecting the will of the Bangladeshi people and the announcement of a visa restriction policy ahead of the election. 

In response, Kirby reiterated the administration's belief in viable and vibrant democratic institutions worldwide, emphasizing that their commitment to the aspirations of the Bangladeshi people, including free and fair elections, remained unchanged.

The correspondent then turned the discussion to Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, known for his significant contributions to poverty alleviation and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal. Fazal highlighted that Yunus received a six-month sentence on New Year's Day, widely believed to be politically motivated by the ruling prime minister. He questioned whether President Biden was aware of this situation and how the administration viewed Yunus's remarkable global contributions.

In response, Kirby expressed the need to further examine the question, indicating that he would take it into consideration.

Earlier on January 8, a day after Bangladesh’s general election, US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller in a statement said, "The United States shares the view with other observers that these elections were not free or fair and we regret that not all parties participated."