• Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
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Shahriar: Saudi Arabia won't send back Rohingyas to Bangladesh

  • Published at 07:23 pm March 10th, 2021
WEB_Rohingyas in Saudi detention centre_al Jazeera_21.01.2019.jpg
File photo of Scores of Rohingya Muslims sit on the floor of the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as the authorities prepare to deport the men to Bangladesh Nay San Lwin/Al Jazeera

KSA assures of interim arrangement for irregular Bangladesh expatriates to have health facilities and employment, he said

The Saudi government did not say that the Rohingyas, living in Saudi Arabia, will be sent back to Bangladesh, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam on Wednesday.

“No, Saudi Arabia didn’t say that they’ll send back Rohingyas to Bangladesh,” he told reporters at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs referring to his meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir during his recent visit there.

The state minister said his Saudi counterpart made it clear that “they’ve no as such issue” with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, however, asked the Saudi government to give details, including names and passport numbers for further scrutiny.

“We’ll remain engaged,” said Shahriar Akam mentioning that there is a scope of forgery in handwritten passports.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan recently said the government will surely provide passports if the Bangladeshis are there in the group who do not have passports.

“They’re not Bangladeshi citizens who are from Myanmar, they’re Myanmar citizens. It’s clear,” said the home minister.

He said the Rohingya issue is a very old one, around 50 to 60 years’ old issue, and the Saudi Arabia was so generous to take Rohingyas in the past. “The Rohingyas live in a particular area of a Saudi city.”

Responding to a question, State Minister Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh maintains friendship to all and makes sure win-win situation for all.

He said in the recent past, they visited both Japan and China and Bangladesh did not give any scope to create any major issue over the past 12 years while maintaining its relations with important countries. “You (media) have a big interest to know who is thinking what.”

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs urged Saudi Arabia to sign an MoU between Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) of Bangladesh and competent Saudi authority, which would enable Saudi investors to invest in Bangladesh on public private partnership (PPP) projects.

Saudi State Minister Adel Jubeir replied positively stressing potential Saudi investors to invest in a vibrant economy like Bangladesh and hoped they will soon sort out the MoU issue regarding PPP.

The Bangladesh State Minister stressed regular business-to-business dialogue to explore bilateral trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh.

On a proposal from the Bangladesh State Minister for joint venture in contract farming in suitable African countries where Bangladesh can provide its expertise in agriculture and manpower, the Saudi State Minister welcomed the proposal.

Shahriar Alam expressed his government’s deep gratitude to the Saudi King and Crown Prince for allowing all the foreign residents irrespective of their legal status for access to free Covid-19 treatment and inoculation, which has saved many lives of expatriates, including Bangladesh community living in the Kingdom.

In reply to a request, State Minister Jubeir assured of considering and interim arrangement for the irregular Bangladesh expatriates to have access health facilities and employment.

State Minister Alam also made a request for reappointing a cultural attache to the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, so the service seekers’ do not need to send their documents to New Delhi for attestation, and the Saudi side took note of that.

Both the State Ministers agreed to expedite the pending agreements and MoUs and hold first Foreign Office Consultation where the whole gamut of bilateral relationship could be discussed.

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