Bangladesh has differed with Myanmar over the return of Myanmar nationals to their homeland from Bangladesh on the basis of the 1992 joint statement saying the situation of 1992 and the current one are ‘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.
During the meeting, Ali said, the Union Minister has expressed Myanmar’s willingness to take back the ‘displaced residents’ of Myanmar and proposed following 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 the return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
About the principles and criteria of return under the 1992 Joint Statement, Minister Ali highlighted that the situation of 1992 and current situation are entirely different.
Around half of the Muslim villages in the northern Rakhine State have been burned down and the fire is still there.
“So, identification of Rohingyas based on their residence 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 still awaited.
Minister Ali also said 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.
The Foreign Minister 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.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners, CDAs from diplomatic Missions of Australia, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the USA, the UK, Germany, Canada, India, The Netherlands, Vatican, Denmark, Spain, the EU, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Switzerland and Norway attended the briefing.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were also present.
Minister Ali briefed diplomats over the issue in the past, too.
Over 519,000 Rohingyas have fled into Bangladesh following relentless persecution in Rakhine, with Bangladesh urging the international community to mount pressure on Myanmar to take back its nationals and make their return to their homeland sustainable.