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Thursday, December 11, 2014, Agrahayan 27, 1421, Safar 17, 1436 Hijr

Euro Parliament wants BNP to cut ties with Jamaat
Diplomatic Correspondent
Published : Thursday, 11 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 138
European Parliament still insists that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) severe its alliance with the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami.
A delegation of the European Parliament in Dhaka on Wednesday confirmed that it had not shifted from its earlier resolution on the issue.
Jean Lambert, a member of the team that came to Bangladesh on a five-day visit, reiterated the stance of the European Parliament at a press conference in Dhaka.
She said she had discussed crucial issues with the BNP leadership during her visit.
Lambert said they that were not calling for fresh elections in Bangladesh but would encourage major parties to find a solution to political crisis through dialogues among the political parties.
However, she said, Bangladesh will decide when they would hold the national election and enabling a level-playing field for all stakeholders to participate in it.
The election should also reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people and ensure their participation in the voter regime, she remarked.
The European Parliament leader for relations with South Asian countries urged the authorities to ensure justice to all enforced abduction and extra-judicial killings allegedly by law enforcers.
The delegation came on the five-day tour of Bangladesh at the invitation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to attend an apparel industry meet.
During her non-partisan "goodwill" visit, she said she had general-secretary level meetings with two major parties - the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP.
Responding to a question, she said it is true that EU had not sent observers to the January 5 national elections, as it did not find it "transparent, inclusive and credible" with more than half the candidates uncontested.
On Jan 16, the EuroParl in a resolution urged the BNP to 'unequivocally' distance itself from the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam to establish secular democracy.
Without making any reference, she suggested that the government should ban parties resorting to terrorism and militancy.
She mostly focused on the readymade clothing sector during the press briefing, as the EU was the largest market for this sector where it enjoyed duty-free market access.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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