Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Thursday urged India and the international community to force Myanmar to ensure complete and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
Speaking about the Rohingya influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister expressed the hope that the problem can be solved permanently with sustainable return of Rohingyas to Myanmar.
He referred to the recent ‘Physical Arrangement’ signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar to facilitate the return of Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister made the remarks while presenting a keynote speech titled ‘Managing Disruptive Transition: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms’ on the concluding day of the three-day 3rd Raisina Dialogue at a New Delhi hotel, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
The dialogue was organised jointly by Observer Research Foundation, a think tank, and Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
At another function on Wednesday evening, the Foreign Minister highly appreciated the strong support the OIC countries extended to fellow member Bangladesh in coping with the influx of tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali hosted dinner in honour of the New Delhi-based ambassadors of OIC member countries on Wednesday evening.
Bangladesh is currently providing shelter to over one million forcibly displaced people who fled atrocities in Myanmar.
The Foreign Minister thanked the OIC members for coming forward with relief assistance to the persecuted Rohingyas.
Mahmood Ali expressed the hope that the OIC and the international community will keep up their pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals with dignity and ensure their safe resettlement in their homeland, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’ which will facilitate the return of Rohingays to their homeland from Bangladesh, most likely from January 23.
The ‘Physical Arrangement’ stipulates that the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation.
High Commissioner Muazzem Ali thanked the OIC for sponsoring a UN resolution against Myanmar in November last on the Rohingya issue.
The resolution, which was, adopted in the General Assembly's Third Committee, was the result of extensive international support due to the cooperation achieved by the OIC with many states.
In his speech at Raisina Dialogue, Minister Ali said the security cooperation, together with collective fight against terrorism and violent extremism, will continue to play an important role in achieving peace, stability and security in the region and beyond.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh and India are enjoying the ‘best of relations’ as the ties between the two most trusted neighbours have flourished in depth and dimensions in the last four decades.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has taken “landmark steps towards improving relations with India,” the Foreign Minister said.
He said a remarkable progress has been made in the areas of security, connectivity, development cooperation, cultural exchange, power trade, commerce and defence exchange during the last nine years since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office in 2009.
Minister Ali reiterated Bangladesh’s ‘firm and unequivocal’ position against terrorism saying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has “steadfastly maintained Zero Tolerance to all forms of terrorism.
“No terrorist outfit is allowed to operate from inside Bangladesh and jeopardize the security interests of our neighbours including India,” he observed and pointed out that this commitment has been demonstrated through decisive actions in past nine years.
Minister Ali recalled that the solid foundation of relations between India and Bangladesh was laid by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who also floated as back as in 1972 the concept of regional cooperation in South Asia.
Inspired by her father’s concept, Sheikh Hasina has continued to pursue regional cooperation and connectivity as a means to effectively minimise the impacts of the disruptive forces, he said.