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12 September, 2017 12:51:35 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 September, 2017 12:16:00 PM
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China, India ‘pledge’ to be with Bangladesh

Heads of diplomatic missions to visit Cox’s Bazar tomorrow
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
China, India ‘pledge’ to be with Bangladesh

China and India have pledged to remain with Bangladesh on the ongoing Rohingya crisis created by the influx of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from bordering Rakhine State in Myanmar, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque claimed yesterday. “Both India and China are our brotherly countries. At this difficult time of Bangladesh, they have expressed solidarity with us and pledged to be with us,” he told reporters after Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali held a briefing on Rohingya crisis for the heads of the diplomatic missions of Asian countries at the state guest house Padma. However, the Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka was not invited to the meeting, the foreign secretary said. He also said that heads of missions of different countries will pay a visit to Cox’s Bazar tomorrow to have a firsthand experience of the situation.

 

“At that time, more open discussions will take place,” he said, adding that the activities of the international community will be felt within the next week. Meanwhile, the foreign minister has asked the international community to help it with urgent humanitarian assistance to deal with the current crisis. While briefing the diplomats, he also sought support for transporting Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, according to a foreign ministry press release yesterday.

At the same time, he requested the international community to provide political support to ensure sustainable return of all Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar. Ambassadors/ High Commissioners/ CDAs from the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives were present at the diplomatic briefing.

The foreign minister referred to the recently published report of the Kofi Annan Commission and urged the international community to pursue the Myanmar government for immediate and unconditional implementation of the recommendations of this report in its entirety for permanent solution to this crisis. He informed that around 300,000 Rohingyas have already entered Bangladesh in last two weeks. He also mentioned that Bangladesh has already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for three decades and that the total number of Myanmar nationals currently living in Bangladesh has reached over 700,000.

This is creating a huge challenge for Bangladesh in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistances to them, said the minister. The foreign minister highlighted that Bangladesh has always preferred bilateral solution to this long standing problem and was successful in repatriating 236,599 Rohingyas to their homeland through a bilateral agreement in 1992. He mentioned that the 1992 agreement recogniaed Rohingyas as ‘members of Myanmar society’.

The foreign minister also highlighted Bangladesh’s efforts to address the security concerns of Myanmar particularly by proposing MOUs in 2014 on Border Liaison Office and Security Dialogue. Bangladesh has also proposed joint inspection, coordinated patrolling of border; and ‘joint operation’ along the border.

Unfortunately, he said that Myanmar has not responded to these proposals. Rather, they have been running a malicious propaganda terming the Rohingyas as ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh’ and the attackers to their BGP posts as ‘Bengali terrorists’.

The diplomats thanked the government of Bangladesh for the briefing. They highly praised the government of Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingyas for all these years and also giving shelter to the Myanmar nationals who are fleeing the recent violence in Rakhine. They also stressed on the protection of civilians there.

MK

 

 

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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.

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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