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Foreign secretary: Myanmar's internal situation aggravating Rohingya problem

  • Published at 05:37 pm January 23rd, 2019
Rohingya-Bangladesh
File photo: A group of Rohingya refugee people walk in the water after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Bangladesh Reuters

Dhaka seeks Washington's support in resolving Rohingya crisis

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque has said that the recent internal turmoil in northern Rakhine state of Myanmar is exacerbating the prolonged Rohingya crisis, and has sought US support in resolving the situation. 

"It is the Myanmar authorities' responsibility to create a favourable environment so that all Rohingyas currently residing in Bangladesh feel safe to go back to Myanmar," he said on Tuesday, reports UNB.

The foreign secretary sought US support to resolve the crisis during discussions with USAID Administrator Mark Green and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador David Hale in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

The senior US officials welcomed the foreign secretary to their respective offices and discussed issues of common interest, according to a PID handout on Wednesday.

The US officials praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's generosity and tolerance towards dealing with the Rohingya refugees, who fled Rakhine state to escape persecution by the Myanmar Army last year.

The foreign secretary also mentioned that immediately after forming the new cabinet, the prime minister has prioritized good governance and zero tolerance against corruption as the new government's main goal.

The current government looks forward to expanding the existing friendly ties between Bangladesh and the United States in multiple sectors, he said. 

Shahidul said if US investors come forward, Bangladesh will be happy to offer one of its economic zones to them. 

In return, the US officials termed Bangladesh as a highly valuable partner, and appreciated the government's commitment and various initiatives to eradicate corruption, combat terrorism and prevent human trafficking.

The senior US officials also assured of their country's full support towards solving the Rohingya crisis. 

The foreign secretary also held meetings with Ambassador Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary, South and Central Asia Bureau; Ambassador Michael Kozak, office chief, Bureau of Democracy, Rights and Labour; Acting Assistant Secretary Carol Thomson O'Connell, Population, Refugee and Migration Bureau; Ambassador at Large John Cotton Richmond, office chief, Trafficking in person; and Ambassador at Large Nathan Sales, Counterterrorism Bureau and Counterterrorism Coordinator.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC accompanied the foreign secretary during the meetings.

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