POST TIME: 1 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Swiss president arrives Sunday

Swiss president arrives Sunday

The president of Switzerland, Alain Berset, who will arrive in the capital on Sunday on a four-day visit, will make a trip to Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday to see for himself the plight of Rohingyas forced to flee their homes in Rakhine to escape the unprecedented atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs and people from other ethnic groups.

While in Cox’s Bazar, according to diplomatic sources, he will also have interactions with the persecuted Rohingyas.

The visit of the Swiss president to Cox’s Bazar right after the trip of the Indonesian president, who was in the coastal district on January 28, reflects the gravity of the situation and will draw closer world attention of the people across the globe, they said.

“The interest and involvement of the Swiss president with the Rohingya crisis is ‘very important’ as Switzerland is a country renowned across the world for its neutrality and high moral ground,” a senior diplomat told The Independent.

Switzerland has condemned the atrocities in Rakhine and voiced its support for the implementations of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine, known as Annan commission, for a long-term solution to the problem.

Besides, the European nation is providing about $ 8 million (80 lakhs) in the international efforts to look after the Rohingyas.

More than 10 lakh Rohingyas (1 million), including 6,88 lakh arrivals since August 25, 2017, are now living in Cox’s Bazar.  

Aside from visiting Cox’ Bazar and talking about the crisis, the sources said that all the bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest will be discussed at the meetings with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the visit, the first by any Swiss president.

The bilateral relationship between Dhaka and Berne is ‘excellent’ as there is no irritant in the ties, they said, adding that the efforts will now be to take it even higher. The sources said that Switzerland is interested to invest more in Bangladesh and increase the trade volume.

The investment from Switzerland would have been much better if some challenges and bottlenecks like bureaucratic tangle, security and infrastructure could have been addressed, said the sources.

The current bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Switzerland stands at $600 million which can be increased manifold, they said.

Switzerland is a country of innovation and both the countries can be benefited through working in some promising sectors including clear energy, machinery and green technology, they added.