Bangladesh seeks ARF partners’ support for Rohingya repatriation

DHAKA, Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen today sought support and cooperation from ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) partners so that Rohingyas can return to their homeland in safety and security.

Momen made this appeal while addressing at the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum in Bangkok, a foreign ministry's press release said here.

Thailand as the Chair of ASEAN((Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is hosting this year's ASEAN Regional Forum where Foreign Ministers from 26 countries and high representative from European Union including the USA, the UK, Japan, China and India are participating.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister mentioned that if the Rohingya crisis remains unresolved for long, it may seriously undermine the security and stability of the entire region.

Momen sought comprehensive engagement of the international community, particularly ASEAN, in the creation of a conducive environment in northern Rakhine State as well as in the repatriation and reintegration process.

He stated that Bangladesh is not in a position to bear the burnt for indefinite period and it should be a global responsibility to resolve this issue.

At the Forum, foreign ministers from Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Malaysia urged Myanmar to create conducive environment for early repatriation of Rohingya in safety and dignity.

They sought ASEAN's enhanced engagement in this process while the USA, Canada and Malaysia particularly emphasized on ensuring justice and accountability in relation to atrocities committed against Rohingyas.

At this regional highlevel Forum, Dr. Momen embarked on key regional issues including denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, degradation of marine environment, human trafficking, illicit drugs trafficking and cybercrimes.

Momen also held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Canada, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

During the bilateral meetings, Bangladesh foreign ministers urged his counterparts to continue putting pressure on Myanmar to get back their nationals in safety and security.

More than 1.1 million Rohingyas fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following alleged mass murder, rape and other atrocities in Rakhine since August 2017. The displaced Rohingyas are now living in 30 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf of Cox's Bazar district.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)