'Myanmar gives us commitments again and again. But they don't take back their nationals,' says foreign minister
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh will approach for resuming the Rohingya repatriation talks after the full formation of a new government in Myanmar, saying Bangladesh stands ready to send back Rohingyas.
The repatriation talks remain halted due to Covid-19 pandemic and elections in Myanmar.
Bangladesh will also activate a tripartite mechanism – Bangladesh-China-Myanmar – so that Myanmar takes back their Rohingyas from Bangladesh, said the Foreign Minister adding that such three meetings are already held.
"Rohingya remains a big problem. We remain engaged on all fronts," he told reporters after a discussion on 'Sylhet Development Authority Law' at Foreign Service Academy.
Momen said Bangladesh's friends like Japan, China, the United Kingdom and the European Union are mounting pressure on Myanmar afresh to resolve the crisis.
"Myanmar gives us commitments again and again. But they don't take back their nationals," he said.
Responding to a question, Dr Momen said the government will send 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char but no date for such relocation is fixed yet. "You’ll know when the date will be fixed."
He said the Myanmar government is not fully formed yet though an election was held there. "When all countries will recognise the (new) Myanmar government, we'll also do the same."
The Myanmar side gave commitment over repatriation of Rohingyas in various ways but not a single Rohingya returned to Rakhine over the last three years.
There is a trust deficit among Rohingyas that needs to be addressed by the Myanmar side, Bangladesh said.
Apart from the commitment to take back their nationals, Myanmar also informed that they have published a booklet on the work the Myanmar side has done and Rohingyas will be given those booklets to know the situation in Rakhine.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has conveyed to his Bangladesh counterpart that Myanmar recently assured them (China) of taking back Rohingyas who are temporarily taking shelter in Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy party claimed that it has won enough seats in Parliament to constitute an absolute majority and retain power, according to AP.
The Foreign Minister recently said Rohingyas will "jeopardise regional and international security" if the 1.1 million Rohingya people are left unattended and not given the opportunity to return to their homeland.
Repatriation attempts failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas' "lack of trust" on the Myanmar government.
About the incoming passengers from abroad, the foreign minister said all will be tested for Covid-19. "We remain very strict on it."