Dhaka against cold war situation
Sunday, 21 September 2008

Says Iftekhar ahead of UNGA

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh does not want to see the world return to a cold war situation, foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said Saturday ahead of his departure for the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The comment came after a meeting with US ambassador James F Moriarty, ahead of the adviser's departure later Saturday with chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed for the US.
 
Moriarty told bdnews24.com after the meeting that Russian military action in Georgia was a "dangerous development" for the sovereignty of the world's smaller countries.
 
He met the adviser to lobby for Bangladesh's recognition of Kosovo, a breakaway republic of Serbia that emerged with US support in December last year.
 
At the same time, the US envoy requested Bangladesh's non-recognition of Abkhazia and South Osetia—the two states that broke most recently from Georgia with Russian support.
 
Foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told journalists after the meeting: "We want an international order in which all small countries can exist with sovereignty."
 
The adviser added that Bangladesh did not want to see the world go back to a cold war situation.
 
Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said the ambassador had given him a paper on US positions on number of international issues including Georgia and Kosovo.
 
"[Moriarty] has briefed me about the US position. We will take our decisions considering our own national interests," said Iftekhar.
 
"We believe [Russian military action against Georgia] is a very dangerous development," Moriarty told bdnews24.com.
 
Moriarty said the US and its European allies wanted to guarantee that no major power could take such action unimpeded against the world's smaller states, leading "to a further deterioration internationally."
 
"I have talked to the foreign adviser about his upcoming trip to the US specifically his upcoming visit to the UN general assembly."
 
"I explained the US position on a number of important issues particularly with respect to Georgia," said Moriarty.
 
"We talked about Kosovo. I once again urge Bangladesh to recognise Kosovo as soon as possible," said Moriarty.
 
This is third time this year that the US has lobbied Bangladesh on the same issue. The US ambassador previously approached the foreign adviser in March and July this year to support an independent Kosovo, the UN membership of which could be vetoed by Russia.
 
Russia's support and recognition in August of Georgia's rebel provinces of Abkhazia and South Osetia, has been seen as a tit-for-tat move.
 
"We do not believe that [Abkhazia and South Osetia] are independent states. They should not be recognised," said the US ambassador.

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