Dhaka – Bangladesh has been expecting lot more support from its next-door neighbour India in resolving the refugee crisis unfolded more than a year ago after the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.
Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, who is set to begin his maiden overseas visit to New Delhi after taking charge of the ministry, is expected to raise the issue at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.
Bangladesh has been facing difficulty in hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims driven away from their homes by the Myanmar military in the past decades.
Among them, more than 730,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh to flee a brutal military crackdown in August 2017 in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Repatriation of the refugees has been stalled as Myanmar apparently followed a dilly-dallying tactic after Dhaka and Naypyidaw signed an agreement in November 2017.
India also pushed a number of Rohingya refuges into Bangladesh as the persecuted ethnic group also sheltered in India, which is also bordered with Myanmar.
Momen will lead a delegation at the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting on Friday.
He said Bangladesh will discuss the early resolution of the Rohingya crisis as it may affect the regional stability with a hope that India would enhance cooperation to resolve the crisis.
“I am visiting India in my maiden foreign tour to honour our great neighbor, the world’s greatest democracy,” the minister was quoted to have said by state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
Momen referred to amicable solutions to many long-standing issues, including demarcation of land and maritime boundaries, between Bangladesh and India saying that the remaining issues would be resolved through dialogue.
He hoped India will always by the side of Bangladesh in resolving regional matter as well.
Dhaka and New Delhi are likely to sign five deals during his India visit, according to officials.
Trade and investment, security cooperation, connectivity, border management, defence cooperation, energy, shipping, and people-to-people exchanges are among other issues that may feature in the discussion in the Joint Consultative Commission meet.
Momen is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. He will also meet former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the latter’s residence.
The foreign minister is expected to return home on Saturday.