Bangladesh and European Union have agreed that international pressure on Myanmar authorities is needed to create conducive environment in the northern Rakhine state to ensure safe return of Rohingya refugees.
They agreed to continue to work closely with the international community to create required conditions for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh amid a brutal military crackdown since August last year.
Both sides reached the agreement at the 3rd Bangladesh-EU Diplomatic Consultations held at state guest house Meghna yesterday, where a wide range of issues of common interest including political developments, migration and trade were also discussed.
Gunnar Wiegand, managing director for Asia and the Pacific, European External Action Service, and Md. Shahidul Haque, Bangladesh's foreign secretary, led their respective delegations at the talks.
Bangladesh lauded the EU's strong support, including at the UN and other international forums, and significant humanitarian assistance in that context.
The EU appreciated that despite severe space and resource constraints, Bangladesh is bearing a significant burden by hosting more than a million persecuted Rohingyas.
Later, speaking at a joint press briefing, Gunnar Wiegand said that they will continue to support Rohingyas to ease the burden on Bangladesh and expect that other countries will also come forward.
The Foreign Ministry press release said that the EU noted the “arrangement” with Myanmar signed on November 23, 2017 and subsequent bilateral arrangements made with Myanmar for return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas as important first steps.
EU Ambassador in Dhaka Rensje Teerink, Bangladeshi Ambassador in Brussels Mohammed Shahdat Hossain, and senior officials from both sides were present at the meeting and press conference.