Election is Bangladesh's internal matter, India tells US

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during the 5th India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, in New Delhi on 10 November in 2023ANI

India has unequivocally extended its support towards the democratic advancement in Bangladesh in a high-level ‘2+2’ Ministerial Dialogue with the United States.

In the meeting, the two nations held extensive discussions over the issues regarding the forthcoming parliamentary election in Bangladesh.

Vinay Kwatra, secretary to the external affairs ministry of India, briefed the media upon completion of the high-level bilateral meeting on Friday.

US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken, his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh attended the meeting.

A glimpse of the high-level ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue between India and the United States at New Delhi on 10 November, 2023.
Collected from X

At the briefing, the external affairs secretary said, “Extensive discussions took place on different regional developments in South Asia and other parts of the world also. So far Bangladesh is concerned, we shared our perspective very very clearly in the dialogue.”

He further stated, “It is not our (India) space to comment on the policy of a third country. When it comes to developments in Bangladesh, elections in Bangladesh… it is their internal matter and it is for the people of Bangladesh to decide their future.”

He continued, "We as a close friend and partner of Bangladesh, we respect the democratic processes in Bangladesh and will continue to support the country's vision of a stable, peaceful and progressive nation, that the people of that country seek for themselves".

Earlier, Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, also came up with a similar remark at the ministry’s weekly briefing on Thursday.

Such a repeated clarification implies a possible dissent of India with the United States regarding the issues related to Bangladesh.

At the briefing, the secretary did not provide any indication regarding the United States’ reaction on India's stance. He limited himself in the statement that India does not comment on the policy of any third nations.

The heated relations between India and Canada was also discussed in the meeting. Vinay Kwatra said India expressed its concerns directly to the United States.