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PM renews call for quick repatriation of Rohingyas

DHAKA, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today renewed her call to the Myanmar government to take back their Rohingyas from Bangladesh quickly.

The Rohingyas are Myanmar nationals and we want the Myanmar government to take them back by ensuring their safety and security, she said, adding that the faster the repatriation of Rohingyas, the better it will be for all.

The prime minister said this when newly-appointed British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson paid a courtesy call on her at her Ganabhaban residence this evening.

After the meeting, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

He said the British high commissioner echoed the views of the prime minister on the Rohingya issue. We also want safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh, he said.

Referring to the influx of over 11 lakh Rohingyas into Cox's Bazar, the prime minister said they outnumbered the local people.

She also put emphasis on implementation of the recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission on Rohingya issue.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh held talks and signed an agreement with Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingyas.

But the Myanmar government didn't act accordingly, she said, adding that in the meantime, 40,000 babies were born in the Rohingya camps.

The British envoy informed the premier that he had already visited Rohingya camps, saying that a very difficult situation prevailed there.

The British envoy said he is extremely pleased to be appointed as the high commissioner in Bangladesh.

Highly praising Bangladesh's tremendous uplift in various sectors, Dickson, who was earlier posted in Dhaka 10 years back, said Bangladesh has made stunning development during this period.

I've already visited different areas in Bangladesh and I saw that a sense of confidence has developed among the people, he said.

Mentioning huge potentiality among the people of Bangladesh, Dickson said Britain wants to continue work with Bangladesh, especially in the fields of socioeconomic and climate change.

He said that the British companies are keen to make more investment in Bangladesh for mutual benefits of the two countries.

The British envoy said that the next World Climate Summit will be held in London in 2020. We also want to work with Bangladesh in this regard, he said.

Welcoming the new British envoy in Bangladesh, the premier said that Bangladesh and the UK maintain good bilateral relations.

Britain always extends support to Bangladesh as a development partner, the UK is contributing to our socioeconomic progress, she said.

Sheikh Hasina called for further strengthening the economic cooperation between the two countries, saying Bangladesh wants to expand its export basket.

Highlighting various steps taken for development of the country, the prime minister said her government is working restlessly to improve socioeconomic condition of the people.

In this connection, the premier said her government is providing various allowances to the poor and distressed people under the social safety net programme.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country for further industrialization and generating employment. We're encouraging both domestic and international investment in the zones, she said.

PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan was present at the meeting.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)