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3 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM

EU for stepping up restrictions on Myanmar

Belgian Dy PM concerned over rights violations

The European Union has reiterated its full support to resolve the Rohingya crisis, including stepping up restrictive measures against Myanmar, reports UNB. Meanwhile, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has expressed concern about continued human rights violation of Rohingya community in Myanmar. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali yesterday had a bilateral meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini in Brussels and discussed various issues of mutual interest, including Rohingya one. Mogherini renewed full EU support for early resolution of the crisis, including stepping up measures against Myanmar, an official at the Foreign Ministry told UNB.

She expressed high admiration and appreciation for Bangladesh's 'generosity, patience, solidarity and humanity' in dealing the Rohingya crisis. They also discussed SOPs (standard operating procedures) on return of irregular migrants and expressed satisfaction at the progress made in terms of its implementation.

The High Representative informed the Minister of the Council Conclusions on Myanmar, covering the situation of the Rohingya, adopted on the February 26 by the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

The discussion also touched upon the EU-Bangladesh relations, including the political situation in Bangladesh.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss ongoing efforts to address the situation of the Rohingya, over 670,000 of whom have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in recent months, said an EU media release.

The High Representative/Vice-President stressed her appreciation for the generous and humane role and action of the government and the people of Bangladesh.

She reiterated that the EU is fully mobilised politically and through extensive humanitarian assistance to help bring about a positive outcome.

In this context, the bilateral agreement reached between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of the refugees should allow for a voluntary, safe and dignified return to their places of origin.

Mogherini recalled the need for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to be fully associated with the process.

EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday sought steps for targeted restrictive measures against senior military officers of the Myanmar armed forces responsible for serious and systematic human rights violations.

The Council also sought measures for an extension of the existing embargo on arms and equipment which can be used for internal repression as well as options for its strengthening.

The Foreign Affairs Council ‘adopted conclusions’ on the situation in Myanmar, particularly in Rakhine State, which remains extremely serious.

“In view of the situation, the Council invites in its conclusions the High Representative to make proposals without delay,” according to a document UNB obtained from Brussels.

During a bilateral meeting, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister highly appreciated Bangladesh’s generous role in hosting a large number of displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali held bilateral meeting with his Belgian counterpart at his office on Friday and discussed the issues.

The Belgian Foreign Minister expressed condolence and sympathy at the death of Bangladeshi peacekeepers in Mali, according to Foreign Ministry here.

In that context he appreciated Bangladesh’s contribution to global peace and security and both the ministers agreed to enhance cooperation at multilateral forum, including UN Security Council.

The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also emphasised on enhanced collaboration between Business communities of the two countries and in that context underscored the need for regular exchange of Business delegation.

Foreign Minister Ali agreed to the proposed wider business engagements between the two countries and invited Belgian investments in sectors like pharmaceuticals, energy, dredging, infrastructure.

Foreign Minister Ali met with MEPs over dinner on Thursday at Bangladesh House and exchanged views with Members of European Parliament.

The MEPs assured to continue keeping pressure on Myanmar and appreciated Bangladesh’s humanitarian approach towards the Rohingyas. Minister Ali sought their support for implementation of arrangements made, including full implementation of Annan Commission’s Report leading to citizenship Rohingyas.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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