Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, toured the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya of Cox’s Bazar district on Tuesday morning.
The ministers visited several blocks in the camp and talked to some of the thousands of Rohingyas who have fled the recent violence in Rakhine state of neighbouring Myanmar that has killed at least 86 people and displaced 30,000 others in recent weeks.
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Retno Marsudi has travelled to Bangladesh from a meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) held in Yangon on Monday, at which Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi gave a briefing on the situation in the troubled Rakhine state.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi has been widely criticised for her silence on the Rohingya issue - the most serious violence in her country since the 2012 communal clashes.
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For its part, the still powerful Myanmar military has denied allegations by Rohingyas and rights groups that their soldiers have raped women, torched houses and killed civilians in a crackdown which has followed the deadly militant attacks on border guard posts on October 9.
Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingyas as its citizens and dubs them "Bangali." Rohingyas, who managed to land in Bangladesh, have taken shelter at makeshift refugee camps and other places in Cox’s Bazar.
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The refugee camp visit on Tuesday was also attended by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Foreign Affairs Secretary Shahidul Haque, Cox’s Bazar 4 constituency MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, Deputy Commissioner Md Ali Hossain, Police Superintendent Shyamol Kanti Nath, and representatives from international organisations.
A meeting is scheduled to be held between the two foreign ministers after the camp visit. The Indonesian foreign minister will meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday evening.
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