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President Hamid seeks Indonesia’s support for safe Rohingya return

  • Published at 12:56 am January 28th, 2018
President Hamid seeks Indonesia’s support for safe Rohingya return
President Md Abdul Hamid on Saturday sought support from Indonesia for safe, dignified, sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Rakhine state in Myanmar. He sought for the cooperation while visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo made a curtsey call on him at Bangabhaban in the evening. Mentioning that Bangladesh is currently hosting more than a million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, the president said that Bangladesh on purely humanitarian concerns have sheltered them despite facing many challenges. Hamid recalled with appreciation the support of the Indonesian people to Bangladesh's independence in 1971 and Indonesia's recognition of the country on February 25, 1972 immediately after the independence. He also reminisces about the personal acquaintance between Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the founding Father of Indonesia Dr Sukarno. Terming the existing relation between the two countries as excellent, Hamid hoped the relation will be further strengthened following Widodo’s visit, his Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin quoted the president as saying. Hamid also sought cooperation from Widodo in removing tariff and none-tariff barriers as well as concessional market access for Bangladeshi selected products to Indonesian markets. The Indonesian president expressed his hope that the bilateral agreements, which were signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for return of the Rohingyas, will be fruitful and also expected that the displaced Rohingyas would be returned to Rakhaine with dignity and safely. He also praised the social-economic development of Bangladesh in the meeting. Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and secretaries concerned to the president were also present during the meeting. Meanwhile, Indonesian First Lady Iriana Widodo also paid a courtesy call on her counterpart Rashida Khanam, President Hamid’s wife, at Bangabhaban. During the meeting, they talked about mutual interests between the two countries, said Joynal.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina join President Md Abdul Hamid at a State dinner the latter hosted for the visiting Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, at Bangabhaban on Saturday, January 27, 2018 | Focus Bangla

Earlier, President Hamid and his wife received President Widodo and his wife when they arrived at the Bangabhaban. After the meeting, the Indonesian president and his entourage attended the State dinner hosted by the Hamid and also enjoyed a cultural program. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, acting chief justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, several Cabinet members and civil and military senior officials also attended the dinner. Earlier in the afternoon, a special flight of Republic Indonesia, carrying Widodo and his entourage, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 4:20pm. The Indonesian president is here on a two-day visit at the invitation of President Hamid.

Foreign minister meets Widodo

Prior to the meeting between the presidents at Bangabhaban, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Saturday evening had called on Joko Widodo and discussed issues of mutual interest. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque was also present at the meeting held at Sonargaon hotel in the city. The Indonesian president is also set to visit the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar on Sunday. He will leave for Cox's Bazar at 12:10pm. He will return to Dhaka later in the afternoon. Widodo will leave Dhaka for Afghanistan on Monday morning.