Momen: Rohingyas posing security risk for region

The foreign minister urges Vietnam, Asean to speed up Rohingya repatriation

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Bangladesh has voiced concerns at the growing susceptibility of the displaced Myanmar citizens in Bangladesh to radicalism, extremism, trans-border crimes, human trafficking and drug smuggling. 

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen thinks these problems have serious security implications for the entire region.

He has urged Vietnam and Asean to play a more proactive role in bringing about a sustainable solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis. 

The minister made the call during a telephone conversation with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Sơn on Wednesday. 

Dr Momen sought support for a "speedy, safe and dignified" repatriation of the forcibly displaced people back to their place of origin in Myanmar. 

He apprised his Vietnamese counterpart of the plights of the displaced Rohingya people and the severe strain the crisis has created on the socio-economic situation of Bangladesh. 

Dr Momen requested Vietnam to exert their friendly influence on Myanmar to take their citizens back on an expeditious basis. 

Expressing his satisfaction at the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, foreign minister Dr Momen hoped that the two countries would celebrate the 50th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year with fervor and in a befitting manner.   

Lauding the growing trend of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Vietnam, he urged Vietnam to further increase their imports from Bangladesh in order to reduce the trade gap. 

Dr Momen mentioned about the 100 Economic Zones and the High-Tech Parks and encouraged the Vietnamese investors and business community to invest in Bangladesh by availing very attractive and liberal investment packages in Bangladesh for the mutual benefit of the two friendly countries. 

He also suggested regular exchange of more technical expertise in order to further boost trade, commerce and investment.  

Dr Momen sought Vietnam's support in favour of Bangladesh's candidacy as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of the Asean. 

While appreciating the role of Bangladesh in sheltering the displaced Rohingya people, the Vietnamese foreign minister assured Dr Momen of their sincere efforts within the Asean framework for an early solution to the crisis.

He also suggested activating the Joint Trade Commission and other trade mechanisms for further enhancing the trade and commerce between the two countries.  

Highlighting the growing people-to-people contacts, Dr Momen noted with satisfaction that a large number of Bangladeshi tourists are now visiting Vietnam and encouraged more Vietnamese tourists to visit Bangladesh, which is endowed with excellent tourism attractions including important locations of ancient Buddhist heritage and civilizations. 

Pointing to the many scopes for mutual cooperation and engagements, the two foreign ministers vowed to work towards further cementing and strengthening the bilateral relations in the coming days. 

Both the foreign ministers agreed to work in close collaboration in the regional and multilateral forums by extending mutual support in various election processes. 

The two foreign ministers exchanged greetings of the New Year and extended invitations to each other for visiting Dhaka and Hanoi. The discussion took place in a very cordial, free and frank atmosphere. 

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