Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the Western leaders to impose strong economic sanctions on Myanmar to expedite the Rohingya repatriation efforts.
He also urged the ASEAN leaders to strengthen their ongoing efforts to help create a conducive environment within Myanmar to help the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals return to their homeland.
Momen made the call while delivering his speech at the 29th Meeting of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) under the theme "ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together" held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday.
He said that in the fifth year of the Rohingya crisis, not a single forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals has been repatriated to Myanmar.
The Foreign Minister said strengthening ongoing efforts to help create an environment within Myanmar will encourage the Rohingyas to return.
Read: 29th ARF: Bangladesh places 6 proposals to ensure resilient economic cooperation in region
Momen raised the issue of the high FDI Myanmar secured despite the genocide it committed and atrocities it did.
He also pointed out that after the 2017 Rohingya invasion, even EU countries’ trade and investment increased substantially.
In terms of foreign direct investment, the EU was the 5th largest foreign investor following other Asian countries.
He also recalled the history that during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, there was economic sanction on Myanmar and therefore, they repatriated thousands of their nationals in the 1970s and 1990s through dialogue and discussions.
Momen requested the western leaders to impose strong economic sanction on Myanmar as unless economic sanction is imposed on Myanmar, Myanmar is unlikely to listen to world leadership, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, he pointed out that delaying the repatriation process may pose a security threat to the entire region and beyond.
Read: Petroleum prices to go up from Saturday
Momen led the Bangladesh delegation to the 29th ARF meeting.
He highlighted some key challenges including recurring waves of new variants of Covid -19, global turmoil due to conflict in Europe, climate change, economic recession, and food and commodity crises that can only be adequately and effectively addressed through mutual trust and cooperation underpinned by multilateral arrangements like ARF.
While presenting an overview of Bangladesh's socio-economic development in the last decade and a half, he started with the Father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's vision of a world free of economic inequalities, social injustice, exploitation, aggression, and threats of nuclear war.
Momen Bangladesh government is working relentlessly under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to transform Bangabandhu's vision into a reality.
Source: United News of Bangladesh