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US to resolve Rohingya crisis, hold perpetrators accountable

  • Published at 02:32 pm July 19th, 2019
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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the 2nd Ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State on Thursday, July 18 2019 Collected

US Vice President Mike Pence conveyed the US position, expressing their concern over the basic rights violation of Rohingyas in Myanmar

The United States has reiterated that they will stand strong on resolving the Rohingya issue, and also hold the perpetrators accountable for committing the crimes of atrocities against Rohingyas in Myanmar.

US Vice President Mike Pence conveyed the US position, expressing their concern over the basic rights violation of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Pence delivered the keynote speech at the 2nd Ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State on Thursday, according to a revised media release issued on Friday.

He expressed happiness with the progress that has been achieved in Rohingya issue since the last Ministerial in 2018.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was present at the meeting.

Delegates from 106 countries with about 40 Foreign Ministers attended the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State.

Secretary Pompeo reinforced that ensuring religious freedom for all remains the top foreign policy priority of the USA.

He thanked all the governments for their participation and called for collective efforts to ensure the freedom of thoughts, freedom of conscience and religion as reflected in the US Constitution.

Ensuring and maintaining religious pluralism

Foreign Minister Momen highlighted government's commitment in ensuring basic rights of its people.

He mentioned that inspired by the call of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh has been relentlessly working to maintain the religious right of people from all sections.

Dr Momen said, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has upheld religious pluralism and rights of minorities.

He also elaborated how the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina maintained a "zero tolerance" approach to any form of violence and discrimination, under any pretext, against religious minorities, and successfully prevented rise of extremist contents in Bangladesh.

This has resulted in the unprecedented socio-economic growth of its economy, he said.

Besides, non-communalism and peaceful coexistence, Sheikh Hasina also promotes a national slogan, "Religion unto individual, festivals unto all," to promote religious tolerance and create a sense of accommodation among religious section.

Foreign Minister Momen then thanked the US government and the international community to extend their support to host 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

He called on the international community to increase the pressure on Myanmar to repatriate these people.

Dr Momen observed that at times certain media is disseminating hatred and violence against selected religious groups.

He called for the media to play a constructive and responsible role in promoting religious freedom, thereby supporting peace and stability.

The foreign minister reiterated that violence and wars emanate from a mindset of hatred and ignorance.

Therefore, in order to have sustainable peace and stability across nations, he called for creating a mindset of tolerance, a mindset of respect for others irrespective of religion, ethnicity, color and background.

United we stand

Dr Momen said to create such a mindset, everyone including religious, social, community, academia, and media leaders must work together in collaboration and partnership.

He further proposed to host a similar ministerial at regional level in Bangladesh soon.

On the sidelines of this conference, in addition to the Foreign Minister of Hungary, Dr Momen met the foreign ministers of Iraq, Bahrain, and Malta.

He discussed with his counterpart of Hungary about enhancing the mutual bilateral relation through extended cooperation.

Minister Momen offered him to share expertise in Agriculture and Water resources.

He requested to invest in harnessing maritime resources in the Bay of Bengal.

Dr Momen also asked to take skilled and semi-skilled work forces from Bangladesh and thanked him for the 100 scholarship offers from the Hungarian government.

The foreign minister invited his counterparts to visit Bangladesh with a business delegation.

The Hungarian minister assured him that he looked forward to undertaking a visit to Bangladesh.