India wants safe, speedy and sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Myanmar in the best interest of regional security and stability.
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said this in a letter to Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen recently, according to a statement from the foreign ministry.
“The Indian External Affairs Minister mentioned that the safe, speedy, and sustainable return of displaced persons to Myanmar is in the best interests of all concerned. This is also in the best interest of lasting regional security and stability,” the statement said yesterday,
referring to Jaishankar’s letter.
“India is supportive of Bangladesh’s efforts to resolve the Rohingya problem,” it added.
In the letter, Jaishankar also expressed his deep admiration for Bangladesh in shouldering the burden of hosting around one million refugees from the Rakhine State.
Of them, some 750,000 fled since August 2017 when the Myanmar military began a brutal campaign against the minority community, which was termed ethnic cleansing by the UN. Rights bodies termed it genocide and crimes against humanity.
Despite two attempts of repatriation under a deal signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar in November 2017, no Rohingya volunteered to return, arguing that the situation in Rakhine is not safe and that there is no guarantee of citizenship. The UN also said the situation there is not conducive for the refugees to return.
China, a close ally of Myanmar, has not supported any concrete action against Myanmar in the UN Security Council. India, which is also a close ally of Myanmar, wants a bilateral solution to the crisis, instead of any harsh action by the UN.
Bangladesh has also been seeking strong support from its two allies -- China and India -- in resolving the crisis, which analysts fear may turn eventually into a regional security crisis.
Meanwhile, World Bank Executive Director Patrizio Pagano said resolving the Rohingya crisis needs political will.
At a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the capital yesterday, he said the World Bank lauds the Bangladesh government and the host community for opening its door for the Rohingyas, and that it has been providing funds as humanitarian assistance to the refugees and host community in Cox’s Bazar.
The World Bank is providing $165 million to help Bangladesh provide relief to the refugees in the country.
Asked if the World Bank, a Washington-based global lender, would impose any sanctions against Myanmar, Pagano said, “The World Bank does not impose any sanction against any country.”
He said it rather provides funds to countries for poverty alleviation and improving the lives of the poor.
“We will continue to do so,” said Patrizio Pagano.
Nine executive directors and two alternate directors of the World Bank are currently visiting Bangladesh.