Myanmar must play key role in resolving Rohingya crisis: FM

3,000 Rohingyas killed in Myanmar since Aug 25

10 Oct 2017, 13:41 | updated: 10 Oct 2017, 16:48

Online Desk

Dhaka: Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Tuesday said Myanmar will have to play key role in resolving Rohingya issue taking back its nationals from Bangladesh.

"To that end, the international community must continue mounting pressure on Myanmar (to make their return sustainable)," he said.

The Foreign Minister said around 3,000 Rohingyas were killed following the army operation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar since August 25.

Some 284 villages were burned down till September 19, he said.

The Foreign Minister was addressing a discussion on Rohingya crisis at BIISS (Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies) in Dhaka.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque also spoke.

Minister Ali said the government is working to peacefully resolve the crisis.

The solution to the crisis will be long term and the government is working on it, said Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque.

Earlier, Bangladesh has differed with Myanmar over return of Myanmar nationals to their homeland from Bangladesh on the basis of 1992 Joint Statement saying the situation of 1992 and current situation is "entirely different".

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali conveyed it to diplomats stationed in Dhaka while briefing them at state guesthouse Padma on Monday afternoon.

He referred to the recent visit of Myanmar's Union Minister at the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe to Dhaka on October 2 at his invitation.

The Foreign Minister informed that during the meeting the Union Minister has expressed Myanmar's willingness to take back the "displaced residents" of Myanmar and proposed to follow the principle and criteria agreed upon in the 1992 Joint Statement.

He informed that Bangladesh has welcomed the visit of Union Minister and his willingness to work together for return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.

However, with regard to the principles and criteria of return under the 1992 Joint Statement, Minister Ali highlighted that the situation of 1992 and current situation is entirely different.

Around half of the Muslim villages in the Northern Rakhine State have been burned down and the burning is still going on.

"So, identification of Rohingyas based on their residences in Rakhine would not be realistic," said a Foreign Ministry statement issued after the briefing.

Bangladesh, therefore, proposed and handed over a new arrangement to the visiting Minister outlining the principles and criteria for repatriation.

Response from Myanmar on the proposed arrangement of return is awaited.

Minister Ali also informed that both sides also agreed to form a Joint Working Group in this regard.

The Foreign Minister also shared that Myanmar has invited him and the Home Minister to visit Myanmar and the invitations have been accepted.

Ali thanked the international community for their support and urged them to continue their engagement till a peaceful means is found to resolve this humanitarian crisis.