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Dhaka Tribune

Rohingya repatriation: Dhaka asks Manila to exert pressure on Naypyidaw with Asean

The outgoing Filipino envoy pledges full support to recover rest of the money stolen during the February 2016 cyber-heist

Update : 18 Oct 2020, 08:10 PM

Bangladesh has requested the Philippines to exert political pressure on Myanmar together with all members of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to take back the Rohingyas sheltered in Cox's Bazar.

During a farewell meeting with Ambassador of the Philippines Vicente Vivencio T Bandillo in Dhaka on Sunday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen noted that the Philippines enjoys close ties with Myanmar that the latter should leverage its influence to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

He said, to allay the fear of the Rohingyas, Bangladesh has long been proposing formation of an Asean led non-military civilian observer group but Myanmar has not been coming forward positively to implement this proposal.

Momen cautioned that if the Rohingya issue is not resolved immediately, radical elements can take advantage of the displacement and regional and international security would certainly be jeopardized.

At the meeting, the foreign minister sought the Philippines’ support on the recovery of Bangladesh Bank money lost in a cyber-heist in February 2016.

He thanked the Philippines government for all out support to the government of Bangladesh in getting back $15 million of the $81 million stolen by the hackers, and expressed the hope that the Filipino Government would continue support till the remainder of the money is recovered.

Ambassador Bandillo assured full support to Bangladesh Bank on the money recovery issue and said that his government has initiated some measures to combat money laundering, which is a huge national problem.

Terming the Philippines as a global leader in the services sector, particularly nursing, marine engineering and seafaring, Momen said that Bangladesh is keen to sign the pending MoU on nursing education with the Philippines as early as possible and initiate exchange programmes of student and staff nurses between the two countries.

The ambassador assured the minister to do the needful for completing the MoU soon.

Pointing out that there is a huge scope of Filipino investment in the agro-processing sector, the foreign minister suggested that Filipino franchise Jollibee and Potato Corner can open outlets in Bangladesh.

Ambassador Bandillo is returning home at the end of this month after serving as his country's envoy for six years and a half.

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