Beijing assures Dhaka of facilitating Rohingya return

Beijing assures Dhaka of facilitating Rohingya return

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China has assured Bangladesh of facilitating the return of Rohingyas from Bangladesh as Dhaka sought active support from Beijing to this end.

The assurance came during bilateral talks between Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held in Beijing on Friday.

During the meeting, Minister Ali briefed the Chinese side on the status of the 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, the Rohingyas, who have taken temporary shelter in Bangladesh.

“The displaced Rohingyas are so traumatised that they want solid security guarantee for their return. They want to return to their original villages and not to any camps; they must be accorded opportunities to earn their livelihood,” Ali said.

He sought China’s active support for expediting the process of early repatriation of these displaced people by encouraging Myanmar in creating a conducive environment in the Rakhine state for return and resettlement of these people, said the Foreign Ministry here.

The Chinese Foreign Minister affirmed full support of China in realising early repatriation of the displaced people to Rakhine and improve the resettlement environment in Rakhine by helping them build houses and creating economic opportunities.

China offers aid to Bangladesh for Rohingyas:

China will offer humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh to help shelter and feed hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar, AP reported from Beijing quoting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

China hoped repatriation of refugees could begin “as early as possible,” he said after the meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart.

“We will contribute our efforts (to help with offering more humanitarian aids) in line with Bangladesh’s needs,” Wang said.

About 700,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh since last August to escape what United Nations and US officials have called an “ethnic cleansing” campaign by Myanmar’s government. Ali gave the number of refugees at 1.1 million.

The UN refugee agency has signed a preliminary agreement for the return of the refugees with Bangladesh and Myanmar provided the conditions for a safe and orderly repatriation are fulfilled — something aid workers say still has not happened on the ground in Myanmar.

China maintains close ties to Myanmar’s powerful military and has refused to join international condemnation of the campaign of organised violence.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has previously described the issue as an internal affair containing “complicated historical, national and religious factors.”

Myanmar has denied Rohingya citizenship and other rights and considers them immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

The two sides reviewed the progress made in implementation of decisions of Joint Statement issued during the historic visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Bangladesh in 2016.

They also discussed the progress achieved in implementation of the different projects signed during the Chinese President’s visit.

The Foreign Minister sought support of his counterpart in early finalisation and speedy implementation of these projects.

Both sides emphasised the need for continued dialogue between the two countries through high-level interactions as well as people-to-people contacts and agreed to work together closely for the common development of the region.

Earlier in the day, Ali called on the Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan and briefed the Vice-President about the milestone achievements of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, especially in socio-economic areas.

Wang Qishan said the people of Bangladesh is in the right course of transforming their country into Golden Bengal with hard work and determination as was dreamt by their Father of the Nation and China is pursuing steadfastly their dream of rejuvenation of the country as articulated by President Xi Jinping.

Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali is visiting Beijing from June 28-30 at the invitation of the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi.

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