Hon’ble Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali MP held a diplomatic briefings this afternoon at the State Guest House Padma. Ambassadors/ High Commissioners/ CDAs a.i. from diplomatic Missions of Australia, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Sweden, United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, India, The Netherlands, Vatican, Denmark, Spain, EU, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Switzerland and Norway attended the diplomatic briefing.
The Foreign Minister briefed the diplomats about the current Rohingya situation and mentioned that the atrocities in the Rakhine State have not been stopped and Rohingyas are continuing to cross the border. According to UN bodies, as of today 5,20,000 Rohingyas crossed the border since 25 August; nearly 40,000 of them arrived in last 10 days.
The Foreign Minister referred to the recent visit of Myanmar’s Union Minister at the Office of the State Counsellor Mr. U Kyaw Tint Swe to Dhaka on 2nd October at his invitation. The Foreign Minister informed that during the meeting the Union Minister has expressed Myanmar’s willingness to take back the “displaced residents” of Myanmar and proposed to follow the principle and criteria agreed upon in the 1992 ”Joint Statement”.
Hon’ble Foreign Minister further informed that Bangladesh has welcomed the visit of Union Minister and his willingness to work together for return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. However with regard to the principles and criteria of return under the 1992 Joint Statement, Hon’ble Foreign Minister highlighted that the situation of 1992 and current situation are entirely different. Around half of the Muslim villages in the Northern Rakhine State have been burned down and the burning is still going on. So, identification of Rohingyas based on their residence in Rakhine would not be realistic. Bangladesh therefore proposed and handed over a new arrangement to the visiting Minister outlining the principles and criteria for repatriation. Response from Myanmar on the proposed arrangement of return is awaited. He also informed that both sides also agreed to form a joint working group in this regard.
The Foreign Minister also shared that Myanmar has invited him and the Home Minister to visit Myanmar and the invitations have been accepted.
The Foreign Minister thanked the international community for their support and urged them to continue their engagement till a peaceful means is found to resolve this humanitarian crisis.