by Our Corresponded in Dhaka;
The United States will continue to support to find a long-term solution to the unprecedented refugee crisis Bangladesh has been facing since the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled persecution in neighbouring Myanmar.
This view was shared Thursday by visiting Deputy Secretary of the State Stephen Beigun after his meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka.
Beigun said Rohingya crisis requires a regional and global response to resolve it. It’s not simply responsibility of Bangladesh alone, he said urging all to work hand in hand to end the crisis, which is a global priority.
“Every major country in the Indo-Pacific region should be speaking in equal outspokenness so that the government of Myanmar take steps necessary to end the crisis,” he told a joint press meet after an official meeting with the foreign minister.
Biegun said the US sees Bangladesh as one of the key partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Bangladesh’s geostrategic location and continuous economic growth and stability makes it more attractive for the US,” said Biegun, who arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday on a three-day visit on the final leg of his South Asia visit. Earlier, he visited India.
Trade and investment, refugee crisis, and the extradition of one of the killers of Bangabandhu living in the USA featured among other issues during the meeting between Biegun and Momen.
Officials said Bangladesh sought large investments in infrastructure, agriculture, IT, pharmaceuticals and energy, as well as US assistance on Rohingya repatriation.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who are living in squalid camps in southern Cox’s Bazar after they fled persecution in Myanmar. Of them nearly 750,000 crossed the border after Myanmar launched a military crackdown on the ethnic group in August 2017.
The United Nations called the clampdown a textbook example of ethnic cleansing while the rights group termed it genocide. Bangladesh has been in discussion with Myanmar for repatriation of the refugees since November 2017. But a reluctance from the Myanmar authorities to improve the situation in Rakhine state, from where the Rohingya fled, halted the process of repatriation for at least twice.