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Feb 23, 2011
'No Bangladeshi hostage in Libya'
Dhaka, Feb 22 (bdnews24.com) -- Foreign secretary Mijarul Quoyes has said no Bangladeshi has been taken hostage in Libya.
"Our ambassador in Libya has informed us that neither any Bangladeshi has been taken hostage nor there is any Bangladeshi casualty in the volatile southern region," he told reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday.
He said, "There has been unrest and everybody is suffering from a sense of insecurity in Libya and if necessary the government will evacuate the Bangladeshis. We've already discussed the issue with the ambassador."
A B M Nuruzzaman is currently working as Bangladesh ambassador to Libya.
"The ambassador has told us that communication channel is still working and physical movement is possible," Quoyes said.
"Our prime concern is to ensure safety and security of the Bangladeshis now there," he said.
About 40,000 Bangladeshis are working in Libya. "We want to move them to safer places," he added.
The communication system is down and the foreign office can contact the Bangladesh mission in Libya only at daytime, the secretary said adding, "There is a curfew in Tripoli, too."
About the recently held SAARC Council of Ministers meeting in Thimphu, the secretary said, "This is a landmark achievement that the council has adopted the SAARC Charter of Democracy."
The charter renounces unequivocally any unconstitutional change of government in any member countries and they will work together to restore democracy, he said.
The SAARC agriculture ministers will also have a meeting next month and they will decide on setting up a 'seed bank' in the region, Quoyes said.
"During the council meeting in Thimphu, the Bangladesh foreign minister in a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart strongly raised the issue of border killing," he said.
"This type of incident has raised confusion among Bangladeshi people and it may have a negative impact on bilateral relations," he added.
"We've asked them to take action against those responsible for Felani murder along the border," the secretary said adding, "The Indian authorities will inform us what action they'll take through diplomatic channel."
About the BIMSTEC secretariat, he said a coordination office of the regional body would be functional in Dhaka foreign ministry from April.
"The coordination office located in Bangkok was not in operational since May last year and as the BIMSTEC secretariat will be set up in Bangladesh, we've taken initiative to start the coordinating office form April," he said.