USA fully engages in resolving Rohingya crisis: Momen

DHAKA Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said the USA retreated its full support to Bangladesh on Rohingya crisis and it is fully engaged with ASEAN countries to ensure safe and dignified repatriation of forcefully displaced people to Myanmar.

We discussed in details how the USA can further help us (Bangladesh) to send back Rohingyas (to Myanmar) he told newsmen after a meeting with visiting the USA's acting assistant secretary for south and central Asian affairs Alice Wells at foreign ministry this evening.

Momen and the US assistant secretary briefed newsmen separately at the ministry after the hour-long meeting.

Momen said, he briefed the senior US official about the Bangladesh government's plan to relocate Rohingyas to Bhashan Char for their better living.

We will not force anyone to move to Bhashan Char. But they (Rohingyas) will have a better living if they go their (Bhashan Char), he said.

Momen said the US assistant secretary did not raise any objection about government's relocation plan for Rohingyas. However, Wells informed the foreign minister that they would like to asses weather the relocation attempt may increase the humanitarian operational cost for Rohingyas as the USA remains the largest donor for the displaced people.

The foreign minister said, he also sought more USA investment in Bangladesh especially in the infrastructure sector. I told her, we want to diversify our investment, he added.

Earlier in a separate short briefing, Wells said USA will continue support the Rohingyas as well as the host community in Cox's Bazar. We stand with Bangladesh, I discussed a range of programmes for the host community at Cox's Bazar, she said.

During the meeting, the US assistant secretary said, they discussed range of bilateral issues between Bangladesh and the USA. Apart from the bilateral matters, she said they also discussed number of global issues like human trafficking, climate protocol, counter terrorism and the UN peace keeping mission.

Mentioning that the USA always value its partnership with Bangladesh in achieving the country's ambitious development goal, Wells said Bangladesh is going to be very attractive destination for foreign direct investment.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)