Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis with its next-door neighbour Myanmar, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday.
“Bangladesh and Myanmar have already signed an agreement for the repatriation of Rohingyas. As a next-door neighbour, Bangladesh always wants a peaceful solution to the problem,” she said during a meeting with Director General and CEO of OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish at her office.
Prime minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said the OFID chief highly praised the prime minister for giving shelter to the Rohingya refugees, fulfilling a huge humanitarian obligation by doing so.
He also inquired about the progress of the Rohingya repatriation, the press secretary said.
Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish said Opec wanted to explore new areas of cooperation with Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is a major partner of Opec and has had a good relationship with it for the last 32 years. Now we want to explore new areas of cooperation with Bangladesh,” he added.
Ihasanul Karim said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish discussed issues related to mutual interests, particularly the energy issues and the ways to eradicate energy poverty.
Suleiman lauded the prime minister for the development of Bangladesh.
The OFID informed informed the prime minister that about 1.3 billion people in the world were deprived of electricity.
Opec also gives priority to water and food besides energy, he added.
Referring to the discussion with the state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, the OFID chief said he would place a report at the council meeting of the organization in June to do more for Bangladesh.
The prime minister welcomed the OFID director general for visiting Bangladesh. She informed him about Bangladesh’s endeavour to meet the energy demand.
Hasina said she had taken office in 1996 when Bangladesh’s electricity generation was only 1,600MW, which her government raised to 4,300MW in its five-year tenure.
But the capacity declined to 3,200MW during the BNP regime that followed. Now, Bangladesh’s total electricity capacity is 16,350MW, she said.
The prime minister also mentioned that it was possible mostly due to an epoch-making decision of her government in 1996 to involve private sector in electricity generation.
Sheikh Hasina said she was glad to know that women were holding important positions in OPEC.
Prime minister’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present during the meeting.