NEW YORK, – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the international community assured Bangladesh of remaining engaged in the efforts
of solving Rohingya crisis so that forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals can return to their homeland with safety, security and dignity.
“The world community have shown their full solidarity with Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue and said that Myanmar nationals must be repatriated to their homeland,” he said.
Dr Momen said this at a press briefing at Bangabandhu Auditorium of Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York on Tuesday evening.
He said Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen and Saudi Foreign Minister
Dr Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf as well as ministers and representatives of different countries including the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany,
Belgium, European Union, the Netherlands, Turkey, Sweden, Singapore, Kuwait, Serbia, the Philippines and Gambia came up with their assurance of extending support to Bangladesh regarding Rohingya repatriation.
While speaking at the high-level event on Rohingya crisis organised jointly by Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN and the OIC Secretariat, they said that they will persuade Myanmar to take back its nationals from Bangladesh. The foreign minister said the participants extended a stronger support to Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.
They also want safe, secure and dignified repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh, Momen said. Highly praising Bangladesh’s noble gesture of hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas, everybody has assured that they will persuade Myanmar to take back their nationals from Bangladesh, he said.
“I think it’s a great achievement for Bangladesh,” he added. The foreign minister said the event was followed by a pledging session organised by Saudi Arabia where different OIC member countries promised to donate a total of US$270 million to the UNHCR.
About the tripartite meeting involving foreign ministers of China, Myanmar and Bangladesh held at the UN on Monday, Dr Momen said Myanmar has agreed to a Chinese proposal for formation of a joint commission for solving the ground level problems on the Rohingya repatriation.
“China will facilitate on the ground so that repatriation starts and we think it’s a big achievement,” he said. The foreign minister said China has made the proposal with utmost interest and assured that they will work with Bangladesh on all fronts.
Dr Momen said China has taken such an initiative following the talks of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the Chinese president and premier in
Beijing in July last.
“China has taken a very good initiative and we’re hopeful that it will help solve the protracted Rohingya crisis,” he said. Replying to a question, the foreign minister said the process for repatriation of Rohingyas is ongoing. “We didn’t set any specific date and time for repatriation because it (fixing date) didn’t work in the past,” he said.
He went on saying that Myanmar too said on Monday they want to expedite the repatriation of verified Rohingyas. Three sides — Bangladesh, Myanmar and China — have been saying if the Rohingya crisis is lingered then there is an apprehension of emergence of pockets of radicalism.
Myanmar said if it (emergence of pockets of radicalism) happens, it will create uncertainty and danger in this region, Momen added.
“China has also said if the crisis is lingered, there will be danger for stability and prosperity of the region which we have been saying,” Momen
said. The foreign minister said China has understood that Myanmar lacks sincerity in repatriation of the Rohingyas and that’s why Beijing is creating
pressure on Myanmar on the issue.
He said Bangladesh wants repatriation of Rohingyas with ensuring their security, safety and free mobility in their homeland.
The foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also held meetings with newly elected Thai Prime Minister and ASEAN Chairman Prayut Chan-o-cha and Dutch Queen Maxima, who is also UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, at the UN Headquarters.
During the meeting with the Thai prime minister, Momen said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mentioned Bangladesh is doing well in agriculture
sector, but it wants to develop agro-based industries.
In reply, the Thai premier said his country has expertise on agriculture and Bangkok wants to work with Dhaka in a collaborative way for the
development of its agriculture sector. Prayut Chan-o-cha hoped that the volume of trade between Bangladesh and Thailand would reach two billion dollars.
About the meeting of the Prime Minister with Queen Maxima, Dr Momen said the Dutch Queen expressed her keen interest to cooperate in establishing agro-based industries in Bangladesh.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen and Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present at the briefing.