Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed will be able to attend the conference of the police chiefs to be held in New York if 'there are no issues'.

He made the comment in response to a reporter’s question at an event at the Foreign Service Academy in the capital on Monday.

Prior to that, he met with Michele J Sison, US assistant secretary of state for International Organization Affairs there.

On 10 December last year, the US state department and treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on six former and current officials of Bangladesh’s elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) including Benazir Ahmed for human rights abuse.

Despite the US sanction, there is a government order (GO) in place on the IGP’s New York trip.

When asked if there is an agreement between the US and UN that a sanctioned person could enter the US if he is invited by the UN, Masud Bin Momen said, “There is an agreement in place like that. Let’s see, if there are no issues, we are hopeful he will be able to join the conference. And if there is any issue, we will try to know about it ahead of time.”

“There is a gentlemen’s agreement or convention in place like that. In the past, we have seen some exceptions of this norm. It’s difficult to say what will happen beforehand.”

When asked whether the government has a green signal about the IGP’s New York trip, Masud Bin Momen said, “We haven’t spoken about it. As there is a GO, so we can assume that he (IGP) plans to go there.”

Before talking to the press, Masud Bin Momen had a meeting with US assistant secretary of state for international organisation affair Michele Sison.

When asked if the topic of sanction withdrawal came up in the discussion, he said, “They said that it’s a legal procedure. The US department of treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) looks after this. The US foreign department is not directly involved in it.

“We told them that we want to proceed according to their process. For that, we are working with their office of the legal adviser. We are trying to remove the sanction by following their legal procedures.”

The conference of police chiefs will be held at the UN headquarters in New York on 31 August and 1 September. A six-member Bangladesh contingent led by home minister Asaduzzaman Khan is set to join the conference. The IGP is part of that contingent.