Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar on Thursday, December 12 issued a statement over the cancellation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen's visit to India. According to him, "India and Bangladesh's relationship is extremely strong. Both countries have maintained that this is a golden period for diplomatic ties between both countries. I don't think we should get into this cancellation more than this."
Speaking about if the FM has cancelled in the wake of the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the MEA said, "CAB and cancellation of Bangladesh FM's visit should be delinked. I think he has explained. He has said that there were some scheduling issues and other reasons. So, I think we have to accept what the Bangladeshi foreign minister is saying."
In its first official reaction to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both Houses of Indian Parliament, Bangladesh dispelled the notion that minorities faced persecution in the country.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen said, "There are a very few countries where communal harmony is as good as in Bangladesh. If Home Minister Amit Shah had stayed in Bangladesh for a few months, he would see exemplary communal harmony in our country."
Dr AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Min of Foreign Affairs says,“There are a very few countries where communal harmony is as good as in Bangladesh. If he (Home Min Amit Shah) stayed in Bangladesh for few months, he would see exemplary communal harmony in our country": Bangladesh media pic.twitter.com/TGpTDeYahu— ANI (@ANI) December 12, 2019
Momen hinted that CAB was an internal issue of India. Speaking about it, the MEA said, "There seems to be some confusion. We have explained that religious persecution is not happening now under the current government. The migrants who have sought refugees here from Bangladesh have faced persecution and abuse on religious grounds during the military rule and also during the previous government. We have acknowledged that the present government in Bangladesh has taken several steps to substantially address the concerns of minorities as per their constitutional provisions and the laws of that country."
Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen was expected on a three-day visit to India for Indo-Pacific Region Talks. He was expected to arrive in New Delhi on December 12. However, as per the statement issued by the FM, he had to cancel his visit due to "pressing engagements" at home.