09 Nov
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Ministers visits Bangladesh

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali discussed the visit with the envoys of countries having borders with Myanmar during a briefing on Wednesday at the state guesthouse Padma.

A foreign ministry statement says, Ali told the diplomats that he is deferring his planned Nov 16-17 visit to Myanmar as his Chinese, Japanese, German and Swedish counterparts will be in Dhaka then.

The foreign minister has decided to stay back in Myanmar for the Rohingya talks after attending the Nov 20-21 ASEM meeting, it said.  A senior official at the foreign ministry told bdnews24.com that those foreign ministers would come to Bangladesh before joining the ASEM meeting, where the Rohingya issue would dominate the discussion.

They would be on a brief visit to Bangladesh and coming separately from Nov 17 to 19, the official, who asked not to be named, said. The foreign minister during his meeting with the envoys on Wednesday discussed the ongoing situation with the Rohingya people.

The Indian high commissioner, Chinese and Thai ambassadors, and the New Delhi-based ambassador of Lao PDR to Bangladesh attended the briefing. He updated them on Bangladesh’s efforts and engagement with international community in resolving the crisis.

Ali said he opts to stay back in Myanmar after attending the ASEM meeting for “negotiation and finalisation of a bilateral arrangement” on repatriation of Rohingyas who crossed into Bangladesh following persecution in their homeland.  Over half a million of them have crossed the border in the two and a half months since Aug 25 due to violence in Rakhine State, raising the number to one million in Bangladesh.

Myanmar has agreed to form a joint working group with Bangladesh for their repatriation amid international pressure. China, however, has prevented the UN Security Council from adopting any resolution against Myanmar due to its persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslims who are stateless as Myanmar has denied them citizenship.

BD News24

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