Dhaka – Dhaka has sought cooperation from Ankara for the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in squalid camps in southern Bangladesh after they fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the request when visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met her in Dhaka, a press officer of the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Cavusoglu arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday on a two-day official visit, and had talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims after they fled violence in Myanmar. Of them, nearly 735,000 crossed the border after the brutal military campaign by Myanmar in August 2017.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement for the voluntary repatriation of the refugees in November 2017. But insincerity by the Myanmar government put the repatriation process on hold.
Hasan Jahid Tusher, the press officer, said Bangladeshi Prime Minister also sought more Turkish investment in the special economic zones being built across Bangladesh for mutual benefit of both the countries.
She also thanked Turkey for repairing the Bangladeshi navy ship BNS Bijoy, which was badly damaged in the devastating blast in Beirut of Lebanon recently.
Hasina reiterated her invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Bangladesh.
The Turkish Foreign Minister thanked the Prime Minister for her invitation and said the president of Turkey is likely to visit Bangladesh in March next year, if the Covid-19 situation improves.
He highly praised the unprecedented development in Bangladesh and the leadership of Prime Minister Hasina.