Padma project: Mozena wants WB to review its decision

Dismissing the notion that the USA had a hand behind the World Bank’s cancellation of fund for Padma Bridge project, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena on Tuesday said he wants the Bank to review its decision.

“This is a wrong conception that the US has a link with this,” he said while replying to a question at the regular ‘meet-the-press’ programme at Jatiya Press Club with its president Kamal Uddin Sabuj in the chair.

The US envoy, however, hoped that both the Bangladesh government and the World Bank would find a way for a solution to the crisis.

“I was very disappointed when I came to know that the World Bank cancelled its funding decision. I wish they would revive the decision,” he said.

Mozena said he was also disappointed seeing that the World Bank and the Bangladesh government could not find a way to solve the problem.

Asked whether the USA would play any role in resolving the crisis, he turned it down right away saying: “America is not the party to this crisis. They (Bangladesh govt and WB) have to find a way to reach a solution,” he said.

When his attention was drawn to Indian media reports on the presence of US 7th fleet in the Bay of Bengal, he said: “This is very funny; there’s no intention to have the 7th fleet in Chittagong. How can you get an aircraft carrier to Chittagong… put wheels on it?”

About misreporting, Mozena said when he will go to teach in any university after retirement from his diplomatic career he will show the students his news cutting as an “example of misreporting”.

"This is an example how you can use information, disinformation and misinformation and create a story," he said.

Responding to another question regarding the political situation in Bangladesh, he mentioned that he was confident that both political parties in the country will have dialogue to resolve the stalemate and have a free, fair and peaceful election.

“I’m confident dialogue will take place,” he said adding that he is seeing the sign of flexibility in both parties.

He hoped that a way will be found to resolve the political crisis in the country. “Someday, there’ll be an agreement between the two political parties. They’ll sooner or later come up with the mechanism for a free, fair and acceptable election,” he said.

In this connection, he said he knows that people also want to have such election in the country.

He mentioned that he has talked to many political leaders and they also conveyed him the same sentiment. “Bangladesh will have to remain in democracy.”

Replying to a question, he mentioned that during his recent visit to the USA, many Bangladeshi RMG product buyers informed him that they want to buy more products from Bangladesh, but they will not hamper their reputation if Bangladesh develops its workplace environment and the deteriorating political situation.

Referring to hartal (strike), he said hartal means late in delivery of products to the US buyers and no one wants delay in getting his products.

“In the competitive world you have to deliver your products timely, new fashions do not last longer, so you have to deliver your products quickly,” he said.

About Hilary Clinton’s visit to Bangladesh and her comments on some internal issues as ‘unwanted interfere in the internal issues’, he said Bangladesh and the US are friends. “One friend can talk about other friend’s issue. Bangladesh can talk about any issue of the USA. But at the end of the day it’s the America who will take the decision and the same for Bangladesh.”

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