Bangladesh and Australia today put stressed on necessity for early, voluntary, safe, and sustainable return of persecuted Rohingyas and reintegration of returnees into the Myanmar society with international support.
Bangladesh also stressed that if the Rohingyas could not be repatriated within a short span of time, it would have ramifications for the entire region and beyond.
These were discussed at the senior officials talks held between the two Foreign Offices on a virtual platform as part of the regular Foreign Office Consultations (FOC), according to a foreign ministry press release.
During the meeting, both the sides also agreed that solution to the Rohingya crisis remained within Myanmar.
Both sides expressed their aspiration to deepen and widen their economic cooperation, as Bangladesh graduates from Least Developed Country status.
In today’s talks, diplomats of both the countries hoped for closer collaboration to address common challenges and opportunities in Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean regions.
Australia appreciated that Bangladesh was bearing a significant burden in hosting the Rohingyas and also provided an update on Australia’s humanitarian assistance for them.
Australia reaffirmed its commitment to support Bangladesh’s recovery from COVID-19 and to extend assistance to Bangladesh’s priority areas through the Australian development programme.
The two sides also expressed satisfaction in the progress made in creating a platform for discussing trade and investment related matters and also resumption of direct air cargo transportation from Bangladesh.
The Australian side congratulated Bangladesh in its celebration of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of Independence.
Officials acknowledged the shared security interests, including cooperation in cyber security, fighting transnational crime, countering terrorism and human trafficking; and the importance both sides place on defence cooperation.
The two sides also agreed to commemorate the 50th year of establishment of diplomatic relations in a befitting manner in 2022 and hold the next FOC the same year.
Bangladesh Foreign ministry’s Director General (East Asia and Pacific) Khondker M Talha and Australian foreign affairs and trade department’s first assistant secretary (North and South Asia Division) Gary Cowan led their respective sides.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Australia Md Sufiur Rahman and Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Brewer also spoke on the occasion.
On Tuesday, Australian Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne called his Bangladesh counterpart Dr. AK Abdul Momen and discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, including the Rohingya issue, Climate Change and Commonwealth.
Both ministers also focused on recalibrating the bilateral relations more towards trade, investment and human resource development.
Momen sought intensified Australian support in early resolution of the Rohingya crisis.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)