Marsudi leaves Dhaka ending her 25-hours visit

DHAKA, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi left Dhaka tonight ending her 25-hours whirlwind visit to Bangladesh in the wake of regional concerns over the evolving situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

Marsudi arrived here last night after attending a meeting along with the foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon yesterday.

She came to Bangladesh to discuss the issue of current ethnic cleansing and persecution on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State as Indonesia wants to comprehensively address problems that forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh to avoid the persecution, according to foreign ministry sources here today.

During her short visit, Marsudi met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali when they discussed about various bilateral and multilateral issues focusing on Rohingya refugee crisis.

"Myanmar will have to return back its undocumented nationals from Bangladesh," said the premier expressing the hope that the ASEAN member countries would help solve this problem through discussion with the Myanmar government," according to Prime Minister's Office sources.

Sheikh Hasina also reiterated her government's firm stance of not to allow Bangladesh's soil to be used for carrying out any insurgent activities against neighbouring countries.

Earlier in the morning, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali flew for Cox's Bazar district of Ukhia by a helicopter to see the developing crisis of civilians fleeing after violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State to seek protection in Bangladesh.

During the visit, they both met with refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMN), who have been in the country for many years. They also talked to the unfortunate Rohingya nationals, who have arrived in the country since the violence erupted in early October 2016 in Myanmar.

"The Indonesian foreign minister got a clear picture on Rohingya refugee crisis after talking to the sufferers in different refugee camps in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar," State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam commented on his facebook wall today after returning from Cox's Bazar.

He expressed the hope that Indonesia would be able to play a pioneering role in future in solving crisis in Myanmar following her (Indonesian foreign minister) joining of ASEAN foreign ministers meeting there on Monday.

Both the foreign ministers were accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwan Wiranata-atmadja, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Sarat Dash and UNHCR Bangladesh Country Representative Shinji Kubo during the visit.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)