Government Policy

US focuses on Myanmar issues; lauds Bangladesh’s extraordinary generosity

John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, on Friday said the US remains very focused on helping all concerned in finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis and restoring democracy in Myanmar.

He appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership in demonstrating an "extraordinary active generosity" which, he thinks, is obviously “very expensive” for Bangladesh.

Kerry made the remarks while responding to a question at a joint briefing at State guesthouse Padma after his meeting with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin, Saber Hossain Chowdhy, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Special Envoy for the Vulnerable Forum Presidency Abul Kalam Azad, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller were present.

Kerry said what is happening to the people of Myanmar now is one of the greatest challenges of the planet, and the Biden Administration is very grateful for the incredible spirit and helping hand that Bangladesh has given to the Rohingyas.

He said the global community needs to help and step up as this is not a responsibility for Bangladesh alone.

Kerry said this is really one of those things under the UN but noted that individual countries are stepping up which is helpful.

“I know that we fought very hard and tried to see Myanmar moving in a different direction. We had high expectations. I personally visited Naypyidaw and met with the generals,” he said, recalling that they had tried very hard to ensure accountability but have not honored that.

US focuses on Myanmar issues; lauds Bangladesh's extraordinary generosity

Kerry said Bangladesh is one of the greatest helping hands and it has given Rohingyas an Island so that Rohingyas are able to find a future but that is not a long-term future. “That doesn’t resolve the issue.”

Foreign Minister Dr Momen said Rhingyas are destroying the forest and geological system and hoped that the US’ proactive initiative can help them for a safe and dignified return to Myanmar for a decent living.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

Bangladesh says the Rohingyas do not trust their government, and Bangladesh gave a number of proposals to build trust among them.

Bangladesh is trying in multiple ways -- bilaterally, multilaterally, tri-laterally and through the judicial system -- to find a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis.

Bangladesh proposed deployment of nonmilitary civilian observers from Myanmar’s friendly countries -- Japan, China, Russia, India and Asean countries.

Kerry arrived in Dhaka on Friday morning to convey President Joe Biden's commitment to move forward "aggressively" to deal with the global climate crisis.

Foreign Minister Dr Momen and his wife Selina Momen received Kerry upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:30am.

Kerry, who arrived in Dhaka after wrapping up his four-day India visit, handed over the US President’s invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in person to attend the "Leaders Summit on Climate" to be held on April 22-23 virtually.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be recognised for Bangladesh's leadership of countries especially vulnerable to climate impacts during the "Leaders Summit on Climate".

As the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, the US said, Bangladesh plays a leading role in combating climate change.

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Hasina, to join the “Leaders' Summit on Climate” that he will host. The virtual summit will be live-streamed for public viewing.

The “Leaders Summit on Climate” will underscore the urgency– and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

President Biden has emphasised the challenge of climate change, stating, “The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis and by placing climate change at the centre of our foreign policy, diplomacy, and national security.”?

President Biden took action on his first day in office to return the US to the Paris Agreement.

Days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders’ summit to galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.

Source: United News of Bangladesh