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Dhaka wants initiative from Moscow to resolve Rohingya crisis

2021-07-19, 10:20pm Migration

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Bangladesh has urged Russia to take a trilateral initiative to resolve Rohingya crisis.

Dhaka, July 19 :  Bangladesh has urged Russia to take a trilateral initiative involving Bangladesh, Russia and Myanmar like the existing one with China to resolve the Rohingya crisis as China and Russia have much leverage on Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Monen shared the idea with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during their recent meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“I told him (Russian FM) that we’re trying much to solve the issue bilaterally, and we had many meetings. But no one could be repatriated in the last four years. I want you to take a trilateral initiative,” Dr Momen told reporters at his residence, sharing what he conveyed to his Russian counterpart.

The Foreign Minister also conveyed his Russian counterpart that Myanmar will listen to Russia as the two countries maintain very good relations.

Dr Momen cited the existing trilateral mechanism involving Bangladesh, China and Myanmar saying, “Look at China, they did so well and progressed much. We would expect you to take an initiative. We look forward to you (Russian FM).” 

The Russian Foreign Minister, however, did not respond positively to the proposal instantly but said they will have to discuss it further.

Dr Momen said China is working through a trilateral mechanism but after the military takeover in Myanmar, China is not getting a response from Myanmar.

He said Myanmar is busy managing and stabilizing their authority as China thinks it is not the appropriate time for discussion. 

Dr Momen said Russia and China for the first time extended their support for a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council calling for a solution to the Rohingya crisis. “It’s an achievement and it’s a shift.”

Since the massive influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar into Bangladesh in August 2017, this is the first time that any resolution on the Rohingya was adopted in the UN without a vote, due to the intense diplomatic efforts made by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva.

The resolution on the "Human Rights Situation of Rohingya Muslims and other Minorities in Myanmar" was unanimously adopted at the ongoing 47th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The adoption of the resolution by consensus is a big milestone for Bangladesh, said the Bangladesh Mission in Geneva.

Bangladesh thinks Rohingyas will "jeopardise regional and international security" if the 1.1 million Rohingya people are left unattended and not given the opportunity to return to their homeland.

Two repatriation attempts turned futile as Myanmar “failed to remove trust deficit” among the Rohingyas and there was “lack of conducive environment” in Rakhine for their return.

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. Myanmar did not say no to those proposals but no proposal was implemented.

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, earlier, also proposed deployment of non-military civilian observers from Myanmar’s friendly countries -- Japan, China, Russia, India and Asean countries, reports UNB.