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US envoy's Shaheenbagh visit is meddling in internal affairs of Bangladesh: Russia

Dhaka: Russia said the US ambassador's visit to Shaheenbagh to meet with the family of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader is an attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh, Prothom Alo reported citing a statement released by the Russian embassy to Bangladesh.
While addressing the reporters at a regular briefing in Moscow, on Thursday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the US ambassador was "persistently trying to influence the domestic processes in the country." Zakharova also said that the US ambassador is hiding behind the pretext of caring about the rights of the Bangladeshi, Prothom Alo reported.
Previously, on December 14, the US ambassador visited the residence of BNP leader Sajedul Islam, who went missing around a decade ago.
During the ambassador's visit, a group of people tried to ambush Peter D Haas as he came out of the house. However, he was able to leave the area safely with the help of his security detail.
Following this, Hass held an urgent meeting with Bangladesh Minister of Foreign Affairs AK Abdul Momen questioning how the details of his visit got leaked.
According to the Prothom Alo report, the US informed the highest level of the Bangladesh government about its concern regarding the incident involving the US ambassador in Dhaka, Peter Haas.
The matter has been discussed in Washington too. During discussions with Bangladesh's ambassador to the US, Mohammad Imran on 15 December, the US Assistant Secretary of State of Central and South Asian affairs Donald Lu expressed concern for Haas' security.
Referring to the same event US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, on Thursday (local time) called Bangladesh Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and discussed elections, safety, and security of US embassy personnel.
Previously, "Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke on the phone with State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Shahriar Alam. The Deputy Secretary and State Minister discussed strengthening US-Bangladeshi relations, the importance of holding free and fair elections, and the safety and security of US embassy personnel," said US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price.
"Good conversation with Bangladeshi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam today. We discussed strengthening US-Bangladeshi relations, the importance of free and fair elections, and the safety and security of US embassy personnel," Sherman tweeted.
Earlier, on December 19, Momen said there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the security of foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka
"Our government will guarantee full protection of all diplomats," he added.
The US side said they raised the December 14 Shaheenbagh incident at the 'highest levels' of the Bangladesh government, as well as with the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington.
"The ambassador (Peter Haas) is a bit panicked about his security. Our ambassador conveyed there is no reason to get panicked," Momen said.
Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on December 18 said there had been no shortage of security when US Ambassador Peter Haas visited Shaheenbagh on December 14.
"Police personnel rushed to the spot immediately," he said. (ANI)

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