Visiting UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández Taranco on Monday expressed his optimism over a peaceful solution to the ongoing political deadlock but said there must be a political will and an attitude of a compromise among political parties.
“I do believe there is a possibility of finding a peaceful solution to the current political deadlock if we’ve a political will, (if) we’ ve leaderships, if we’ve an attitude of compromise, most importantly if we’re able to engage in a peaceful dialogue,” he told reporters in his quick but short statement at the Election Commission Secretariat.
This was Taranco’s first media briefing since he started his mission in Dhaka on Saturday, aiming to encourage the country’s bickering political parties to resolve their dispute over the composition of the election-time cabinet through dialogue.
Before making his statement, Taranco held nearly a 20-minite meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad at the EC secretariat in the city.
The UN envoy, however, did not take any question from the reporters saying he has more meetings with his interlocutors.
About the media’s important role in the current situation, Taranco assured that he would meet the media before he leaves Dhaka.
The UN delegation led by Taranco reached the EC secretariat around 2:6pm. The meeting began at 2:11pm and ended at 2:30 pm.
In the morning, Taranco held nearly an hour-long meeting with a delegation of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami led by its assistant secretary general Barrister Abdur Razzak from 10 am.
Soon after the meeting, Taranco and his team had a meeting with senior Awami League leaders at Prime Minister’s Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi’s Gulshan residence.
The meeting started at 11.30 am and ended at about 12.25pm.
Dr Gowher Rizv and Awami League general secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Industries Minister Tofail Ahmed, Land Minister Amir Hossain Amu, former Commerce Minister Faruk Khan and AL joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, among others, joined the meeting.
However, there was no media briefing after the meeting as Awami League leaders were tightlipped about its outcome.
After the meeting with senior Awami League leaders, the UN envoy went to the residence of Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander A Nikolaev around 12:30pm and sat in a meeting there.
Taranco is scheduled to hold meeting with BNP vice chairman Shomsher Mobin Chowdhury and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia later in the evening.
Taranco arrived here on Friday amid the country’s murky political situation that has cast a shadow on its January-5 general election.
His visit is aimed at encouraging ‘dialogue and conditions’ conducive to the parliamentary elections, said a statement issued by UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka, Neal Walker.
Meanwhile, the UN envoy had a series of meetings with Awami League and BNP leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Saturday.
Taranco hopes for a peaceful solution