Government in driver’s seat to return Rohingya: Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen (file photo)

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said that the government’s foreign policy is to drive the Rohingya back. We have to keep trying. We are hopeful they will take back the Rohingyas.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the launch of two books by Major (retd) Mohammad Emdadul Islam at the Bangabandhu Auditorium of the Chittagong Press Club on Sunday (January 10).

Chittagong University Vice-Chancellor Prof. presided over the ceremony. Shirin Akhtar. Deputy Minister for Education Barrister Mahibul Hasan Chowdhury Nawfel was the special guest.

Abdul Momen said, “We have visited all the neighboring countries including India, China and Thailand.” Everyone has acknowledged that Myanmar has caused the Rohingya problem. So they will eliminate the problem. Everyone says the permanent solution is to get people back. So since that day we still have our foreign policy in the driver’s seat. The United States and Europe have all said that Myanmar must take back the Rohingya.

He said, have you seen anywhere in the world to give place to 11 lakh people? One million displaced people from Syria, Yemen and Iraq have struggled to find places in 28 European countries. And Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given shelter to 1.1 million people here for humanitarian reasons.

Noting that Myanmar lacks sincerity in returning the Rohingya, the foreign minister said Myanmar is a neighboring country. Talked to them. They have repeatedly said that the Rohingyas will be taken away after verification. They never said they would not take the Rohingyas. We said, take them, but ‘you must ensure security and safety’. They have promised to take it. But even today, not a single Rohingya has returned in almost three and a half years. Because of the lack of sincerity between them.

He said a big meeting was held with Myanmar on January 20 last year. After that they did not hold any more meetings under the pretext of cowardice and election. We hope to sit with them anew. Infect is having a meeting with Myanmar today.

‘I saw in 198 and 1992, then many Rohingyas came to Bangladesh and took them again. In 1992, about 2 lakh 53 thousand Rohingyas came to the country. Later, through negotiations, they took away 2 lakh 30 thousand. The minister said.

“They have a history, they have taken it, so we are hopeful that they will take 1.1 million Rohingyas now,” he said. But it is difficult to say when it will be taken. The Bangladesh government has taken all necessary steps to repatriate the Rohingya. We are in round-the-clock talks with Myanmar.

‘I told them, look, you are developing, we are developing. If you have the prospect of development then take these people. If you don’t take it, there will be unrest in this area. If there is unrest, your development will be hampered and our development will also be hampered. Take them for the development of the region. But they did not take it.

“We sat down with China, had four meetings,” Momen said. The last meeting was very positive. Then they promised, they will understand the Rohingyas. The condition of their country has improved. Other times but did not say.

Noting that the Rohingyas did not go because they did not trust the Myanmar government, the foreign minister said, “Why don’t these Rohingyas go?” Didn’t go even after trying twice. A big reason is that Rohingyas do not trust their government. I told them, you have an imperfection of faith. We offer three types of confidence building. I have said that the leaders of your government should come and talk to the Rohingyas. They came once, but later came in question and never came.

“We told them to visit with the Rohingya,” he said. But they did not answer. Since you do not trust your government, keep non-military civilians in Rakhine. In that, we will say there is a third party, you will not have any difficulty. They did not accept that either. Didn’t say yes or no.

Mentioning that the neighboring country was not on our side for strategic reasons, Momen said, “We are continuing our efforts to repatriate the Rohingyas and have taken them to international forums.” 132 countries have ruled in our favor. Our main purpose is to send these Rohingyas back to their homeland.

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‘So it doesn’t matter who voted where. Recently Japan has also agreed with us. There are many Myanmar workers in Japan. They have also taken the initiative to convince Myanmar. We are always optimistic. I always believe that a solution will come in the discussion. The minister added.

Source: ODHIKAR by

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