Rohingya Repatriation: Myanmar positive, UN supportive
Myanmar has responded positively towards starting Rohingya repatriation whereas the United Nations has promised continuous support to Bangladesh to collectively address the Rohingya crisis.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday said that Myanmar responded positively towards starting Rohingya repatriation with the next round of talks scheduled for the first week of February.
"We got some positive responses. We told them it's an opportunity for you [Myanmar] to take back your nationals," he told reporters after a programme in the capital.
The foreign minister said they provided a figure to start the repatriation and Bangladesh asked Myanmar to begin.
Momen said peace and development in the region would be hampered if the Rohingya issue is not resolved.
He said a director-general level meeting with Myanmar would be held in the first week of February this year.
Myanmar had earlier said they were committed to beginning repatriation of Rohingyas as per the bilateral agreement signed with Bangladesh in 2017.
Myanmar's International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin conveyed it to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in a recent letter.
The Myanmar minister also said they were committed to ensuring peaceful relations with all neighbours including Bangladesh and resolving any problem peacefully.
Kyaw Tin said they wanted to resolve any bilateral issues with neighbours through mutual partnership.
He hoped to begin repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar soon through the tripartite talks held among Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China on January 19.
The two countries will address the relevant issues, including a joint working group meeting with an expansion that will be held in February first week to prepare the ground for repatriation in the second quarter of the current year.
The China-Bangladesh-Myanmar meeting was chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui and Myanmar Deputy Minister of International Cooperation Hau Do Suan led the Myanmar side.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has said the UN would continue to stand with Bangladesh and mobilise international support to collectively address the Rohingya crisis and ask Myanmar to create a congenial environment for Rohingya repatriation.
He thanked the government of Bangladesh for supporting the mandate of his office and sought Bangladesh's continued cooperation with his Special Envoy on Myanmar to mobilise further international assistance towards a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis.
He recently wrote a letter to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, expressing deep gratitude to Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingya population who fled atrocities and persecution in Myanmar.
The secretary general assured that the UN has renewed its advocacy and support in the Rakhine State and would continue to engage with Myanmar towards creating a conducive environment for the sustainable return of the Rohingyas.
Through the office of the Special Envoy and other UN mechanisms, the UN would continue to work towards creating conducive conditions for return, including full implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, to find a durable solution to the crisis, the secretary general said.
The secretary general has sent the letter in response to Momen's new year message to him where the Foreign Minister stressed, among others, a more robust and active role of the UN for the commencement of repatriation and a lasting solution to the crisis.