State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said the government would take appropriate steps if any foreign diplomat stationed in Dhaka crosses the boundary.

He described Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki's recent comments on Bangladesh's election as "unexpected" and said Bangladesh will convey its message to Japan regarding the matter.

The State Minister said the Japanese side did not raise such an issue in the last four years in any bilateral meeting or any discussion.

Even it was not mentioned in the statement issued by the Japanese Embassy after the 2018 elections, Alam said.

Recalling the 2018 election, Ambassador Naoki said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka had issued a statement of concern which was very unusual for his country though it was focused more on violence.

The State Minister hoped that commonsense will prevail in the days to come and they (diplomats) will act accordingly.

"When we see it's crossing the boundary, we are saying very clearly and loudly that we will take appropriate steps," he said.

The State Minister said he has nothing else to say beyond this, especially about the very friendly country Japan.

He said the government is committed to hold a free and fair election and the Election Commission is working to that end.

Stronger Dhaka-Tokyo Ties

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has expressed his optimism that Bangladesh-Japan relations would further be strengthened through the upcoming prime ministers-level meeting in Tokyo.

"We keep working with this expectation," he said in a Facebook post, adding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's official visit to Japan will hopefully benefit the common people of the two countries.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to pay the official visit to Japan from November 29 to December 1 at the invitation of her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

The State Minister said Bangladesh conveyed necessary messages to Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki which did not need to be shared with the media.

In a separate note on Facebook, he wrote, "If some of you have forgotten: Article 41 paragraph 1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 reminds diplomats to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and unequivocally restricts them from meddling in that nation's domestic affairs."

Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State, according to Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State and all official business with the receiving State entrusted to the mission by the sending State shall be conducted with or through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or such other ministry as may be agreed.

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