Dhaka – Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has said safe, speedy and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya Muslims is the national interest of three South Asian countries – Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.
“We reaffirm our readiness to provide all assistances to repatriate the displaced Rohingya people from Bangladesh and to improve socio-economic condition in Rakhine state,” Jaishankar told reporters after a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Kalam Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The Indian minister arrived in Dhaka on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh on the invitation of Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. The two ministers held official talks at the State Guest House Jamuna and addressed a joint news conference.
The Indian minister’s comment came at a time when Bangladesh was getting prepared for a second attempts to repatriate 3,450 Rohingya Muslims verified by Myanmar. The repatriation move is scheduled for Thursday, according to the foreign ministry.
Nearly 750,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched a brutal crackdown on the ethnic minority group in its northern Rakhine state in August 2017. But the two counties agreed for repatriation of the refugees.
An attempt of Rohingya return was failed in November 2018 after refugees refuse to go back to their homeland citing that condition in Rakhine was not conducive for them to return. They demanded restoration of rights including citizenship, safety and trial of those responsible for the Rohingya genocide.
India has been providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees living in Bangladeshi camps ever since they crossed into Bangladesh.
The visiting Indian minister said “our partnership with Bangladesh remains an example what neighbours can do together. We work together as partner.”
He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to ensure partnership that remains as a role model in the South Asia.
Jaishankar is scheduled to leave Bangladesh on Wednesday. He called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the afternoon.