Dhaka – Foreign Ministers from Japan, Germany and Sweden are scheduled to visit camps in south-eastern Bangladesh where nearly a million Rohingya Muslims sheltered after brutalised in neighbouring Myanmar.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali is expected to accompany Taro Kono of Japan, Sigmar Gabriel of Germany, Margot Wallström of Sweden to Kutupalong Rohingya camp on Sunday.
High Representative of the EU Federica Mogherini will also join the day-long trip to see the ground reality of the Rohingya Muslims living in squalid camps, according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Thursday.
The foreign ministers and the EU official are expected to arrive in Dhaka on Saturday.
“The combined visit of four high level delegations is the first of its kind since the crisis began in August 2017,” the foreign ministry statement said.
An estimated 617,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents blamed for attacks on security posts in Rakhine state on August 25.
The civilians crossed the border said they were tortured and their homes were burnt by the Burmese military and Buddhist vigilantes. Many Muslims were killed.
During the visit, the high level delegations will interact with the Rohingya at the camps. They will also witness the humanitarian operations by the Government of Bangladesh, UN Agencies and local and international NGOs, said the foreign ministry.
It is hoped that the visit would garner further international support for the Rohingya community living in Bangladesh, which has also been hosting more than 400,000 other Rohingya Muslims driven away from their homes in Rakhine in the late 1970s and 1990s.
The dignitaries are expected to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after their return from Cox’s Bazar on Sunday.
The foreign ministry said Bangladesh has been providing shelter and humanitarian support to over a million forcibly displaced Rohingya.
International community lauded Bangladesh for compassion and generosity shown to the Myanmar people seeking refuge in Bangladesh.
The combined visit by the Foreign Ministers of European countries, Japan and EU High Representative reflects the support for Rohingyas in the international community, added the foreign ministry statement.
It would also lend strong support to Bangladesh’s ongoing diplomatic efforts, bilateral as well as multilateral, for early and sustainable return of forcibly displaced Rohingyas in safety and dignity.
After the visit, Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh and Germany are expected to travel together to Myanmar to attend the 13th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the ASEM in Nay Pyi Daw.