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Friday, February 15, 2008
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Power handover to elected govt a must to keep int'l backing

Says French FM

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that the caretaker government in Bangladesh has to hand over power to an elected government if it wants to take the country forward and also keep the support of the international community.

Emphasising the fact that the state of emergency can never be a permanent solution, Kouchner said, Bangladesh needs to become politically more stable in order to grow and fulfil its potential.

Kouchner, one of the founders of Medecines Sans Frontiers, was speaking to US-based agency News World at an awards ceremony in New York on February 12.

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus was the main attraction at the dinner organised by the International Women's Health Coalition, where he received a 'Global Leaders' award.

"Bangladesh's political forces must work together to strengthen the democratic process and leave behind confrontational politics," Kouchner told News World. He said that the lack of mutual respect and tolerance is a major problem in Bangladeshi politics and has led to the state of emergency today.

He however expressed optimism that all political parties will learn from this experience.

In his acceptance speech, Prof Yunus said that although women's problems are the same all around the world, in some places the problems are visible while in some others they remain invisible.

Yunus will return to Bangladesh on February 22 at the end of a month-long book tour around the US and stopovers in Britain, France and Benin.

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