MOMEN URGES MYANMAR TO INTERACT WITH ROHINGYAS FOR DURABLE SOLUTION
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said it is time for Myanmar to interact with their displaced Rohingya people here in confidence building measures for a meaningful and durable solution, reports BSS.
“We have requested Myanmar officials to come and talk to their displaced Rohingyas for confidence building, unfortunately, Myanmar is yet to respond to our suggestions,” he said.
Momen was addressing the special foreign ministers’ virtual meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), an inter-governmental forum consisting 27 Asian countries for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
The foreign minister said not a single Rohingya went back to Myanmar from here in the last three years since the largest influx from Rakhine due to confidence buildings and trust deficits between persecuted displaced people and the Myanmar government.
Expressing his frustration that Myanmar didn’t respond to Dhaka’s advices, Momen said Dhaka suggested many options to Myanmar to improve confidence building of Rohingyas to go back to Rakhine, their land of origin, voluntarily.
The options made by Dhaka include ’go and visit’, Myanmar would allow Rohingya leaders to visit Rakhine province or allowing non- military civilian observers from Myanmar’s friendly countries like ASEAN, or China, Russia or India or any country of their choice so that Rohingya feel assured of their safety and security.
The foreign minister said despite the threat to its economy, ecology, and overall societal impact, Bangladesh gave shelter, on a humanitarian ground, to nearly 1.1 million persecuted people fleeing massacre in Myanmar, their homeland.
“Our fear is that, if this problem persists, it may lead to pockets of radicalism and since terrorists have no borders, no faith, there’s a high possibility of creation of uncertainty in the region which may frustrate our hope for a peaceful, secure and stable region,” he said.
Secondly, he warned that Myanmar’s stability and economic growth could be negatively affected if Rohingya problem is not resolved.
As a friendly country, Momen said Bangladesh signed three instruments with Myanmar for repatriation where Myanmar agreed to take Rohingyas back after verification.
Moreover, he said Myanmar also agreed to create a conducive environment for Rohingyas’ voluntary repatriation and they agreed to ensure safety and security of the displaced people.
Bangladesh is keen on solving the crisis through constructive diplomacy with good neighborly spirit, Momen said adding “But unfortunately, till today, none went back and instead of creating conducive environment, fighting and shelling is ongoing in the Rakhine state.”
The foreign minister cleared that the Rohingya crisis has been created by Myanmar and solution also lies with them.
“We believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation, where all states coexist peacefully and their people live in peace, freedom and prosperity,” he said.
The Bangladesh foreign minister said all Asian nations should carry forward the solidarity and cooperative spirit of helping each other in difficult times.
He put emphasis on promoting the CICA agenda, enhancing political and security dialogues and cooperation, and strengthening mutual trust, so as to make Asia a harmonious region of lasting peace and common prosperity.
About COVID-19 pandemic, Momen said under dynamic and determined leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh took full preventive measures from the very early stage of the pandemic.
“We have successfully managed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 infection and the fatality rate. As of today, the death toll is only 5044,” he said.
Besides, the foreign minister mentioned that Bangladesh is one of only two Asian economies to register positive growth in 2020, despite a global recession that is shaping up to be historic in scale.
Noting that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund had forecasted that the economy would grow between 1.6 per cent and 3.8 per cent in fiscal year 2019-20 for the pandemic, he said, fortunately, Bangladesh’s economy grew 5.24 per cent in the fiscal year that concluded on 30 June.