Dhaka – Dhaka has sought Beijing’s support to persuade Myanmar to start taking back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh fleeing a brutal military crackdown at home.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen made the request Monday as Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zhang Zuo met him in Dhaka.
A move for Rohingya repatriation has been stalled since January 2018 as the Myanmar government appeared to be unwilling to take back the refugees, who have been living in squalid camps in south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims, driven away from their homes in northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, since long time.
Of them nearly 750,000 crossed the border after Myanmar military launched a crackdown, which the United Nations termed a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, on them in August 2017.
Bangladesh and Myanmar in November 2017 signed an agreement for repatriation of the persecuted Muslims, but the process halted with Myanmar taking dilly-dallying tactics over the return of the refugees.
Momen told the Chinese envoy that Bangladesh was ready to send back the Rohingya who are in the verified list.
The Chinese diplomat, who paid a visit to the refugee camp recently, briefed the Foreign Minister about his trip. The ambassador underlined the importance of the strengthening communication channels between Bangladesh and Myanmar for finding solution to the crisis.
The minister and the envoy shared their views on the role Myanmar should play to create an atmosphere conducive for return of the refugees in the Rakhine state.
A foreign ministry press release said the minister urged the Chinese envoy to redouble his country’s efforts so that agreements and decisions between the two countries reached at leaders’ summit in the past may be realised with speedy implementation process.