Dhaka – A foreign ministry-level meeting among Bangladesh, Myanmar and China is likely to take place at the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week to find a solution to Rohingya crisis.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen gave the hint at a news conference in Dhaka on Wednesday as he was addressing on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s schedules in New York. Hasina is expected to leave Dhaka for New York on Friday.
The tri-nation foreign ministers’ meeting might take place on September 24 or 25.
“We are hopeful of a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis,” the Momen said adding that China has been supporting Bangladesh’s proposals for Rohingya repatriation.
Two repatriation attempts have failed after refugees living in Bangladesh refused to go back to Myanmar citing that a lack of safety for the potential returnees. They also demanded citizenship rights in Myanmar.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a brutal military crackdown in northern Rakhine state in August 2017. The persecuted Muslims have been living in squalid camps in Bangladesh’s south-eastern Cox’s Bazar district ever since the fled violence in Myanmar.
The two next-door neighbours signed an agreement in November 2017 for voluntary repatriation of the refugees. But the process stalled due to lack of Myanmar’s sincerity.
Momen said Bangladesh will seek speedy global efforts for repatriation of the refugees and the issue will be highlighted in the UNGA and other sideline events during the Prime Minister’s New York visit.
He said Bangladesh’s stronger voice and participation in the United Nation General Assembly is extremely important to put pressure on Myanmar.
Prime Minister Hasina is likely to float new proposals to find solution to the crisis despite the fact that the five-point and reiterated three-point proposals made by Hasina in the 72nd and 73rd general assembly are still relevant, the minister said.
During her visit to New York, Hasina will meet a number of global dignitaries and join host of programmes beside the UNGA debate.
She will co-chair the multi-stakeholder panel to be held in parallel to the High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at ECOSOC Chamber. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will also attend as the co-chair.
She will hold a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Kennedy Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel on September 24. She will also meet Queen Maxima of the Nederland.