Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has called on the diplomats to follow the norms regarding the internal affairs of Bangladesh.
"We are no longer a subjugated country. We are not a colony. They should remember that," he said at a press briefing at his ministry on Monday, ahead of the 22nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers meeting scheduled for Thursday in Dhaka.
"It is woeful that many of our people seek opinions on our internal issues from foreign governments. Although they are our guests, their experience in these things is lacking compared to Bangladeshis. This is very sad. This culture needs to change."
He asked the comment-seekers to "change their ways" and said, "Foreign diplomats make a comment when they are forced."
Ministers from 16 countries to attend IORA summit
Minister Momen said around 16 countries will have a minister and state minister-level participation at the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers meeting in Dhaka on 24 November.
The IORA Council of Ministers meeting, to be hosted by Bangladesh, will be preceded by the 24th meeting of the committee of senior officials, to be held on 22-23 November.
Bangladesh is the current chair of the IORA.
The six priority areas of the IORA are maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation; fisheries management, disaster risk management, academic, science and technology cooperation, and tourism and cultural exchange.
About the title of the summit, "Harnessing the opportunities of Indian Ocean: Sustainability for inclusive development," of this year's summit, Momen said, "Emphasis is being given on working in a more regulated way, a more progressive, and scientific way to utilise the ocean."
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.
Russian foreign minister apologises
As one of the dialogue partners, the Russian foreign minister was also scheduled to attend the summit this year, but later he cancelled the visit.
During a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Momen on Monday, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov expressed his regret for not being able to come to Dhaka due to schedule complications and expressed his intention to come to Bangladesh soon.
During the phone conversation, the two ministers shed light on the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Russia and expressed their desire to take these relations to greater heights, reads a press release of the foreign ministry.
Foreign Minister Momen sought the cooperation of the Russian foreign minister in the repatriation of the displaced Rohingya citizens who had taken refuge in Bangladesh. Lavrov assured him of talking to Myanmar in this matter.
Minister Momen thanked Russia for its cooperation with Bangladesh in the construction of the nuclear power plant at Rooppur. On behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he also invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Bangladesh.
Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022
While answering a question at the press briefing, Foreign Minister Momen said he was surprised to see his name as the "chief guest" at the inaugural session of Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022.
"It's very unfortunate," Momen said.
The foreign minister said he attended a programme marking the 7,000th episode of the television talk show "Tritiyo Matra" where CGS Executive Director Zillur Rahman verbally talked about the event.
"We didn't give him any date," Momen said.
The three-day Bay of Bengal Conversation 2022 began at a Dhaka hotel on Monday.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) Khurshed Alam, among others, were also present at the media briefing.