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BANGLADESH MISSION

After urging the military government in Bangladesh last week to lift a state of emergency before holding elections, U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty now says Washington will send observers to monitor the vote even if martial law is still in place.

“We’ve made the commitment,” he told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Dhaka. “We think we need to get the people out here, and that’s going to happen. They are going to be on their way.”

He said 120 U.S. observers will monitor the parliamentary elections scheduled for Dec. 18.

Last week, Mr. Moriarty called on the military rulers to lift the state of emergency imposed in 2007 after deadly political violence.

“Basically, an election under a state of emergency would not be credible,” he told reporters on Oct. 13, after meeting with Khaleda Zia, the former prime minister and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.