Extend help in Rohingya repatriation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:27 AM, October 16, 2020

Extend help in Rohingya repatriation

PM urges int’l community, US

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday renewed her call to the international community, including the United States, to help Bangladesh rehabilitate Rohingyas in their homeland Myanmar.

Putting emphasis on immediate repatriation of the Rohingyas, she said Myanmar should take their citizens back.

The premier said this when visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun paid a courtesy call on her at the Gono Bhaban.

PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

Quoting Biegun, Ihsanul said the United States also wants a permanent solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis.

"We will continue to extend our support to Bangladesh on this issue," the press secretary quoted Biegun as saying.

Hasina mentioned that over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh at the moment, which is an extra burden on the country.

"The problem has been created by Myanmar and we are holding dialogues with them ... they should take their citizens back," she said.

The PM said the Rohingya issue is a social problem, and a large number of the displaced Myanmar nationals are living at camps in Cox's Bazar.

"Some quarters could mislead them and get them involved in anti-social activities. So, we need their immediate repatriation to their homeland," she said.

The premier and the US deputy secretary of state discussed the issue of bringing back Bangabandhu's convicted fugitive killer Rashed Chowdhury, now in the USA.

Biegun informed that the case was being reviewed by the US attorney general's office.

He said the visa services for Bangladeshis students would be reopened once the Covid-19 situation improves.

The US deputy secretary of state, who arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday, said he has already discussed the issue of economic cooperation with Bangladesh officials.

"The US government will closely work with Bangladesh for promoting economic and trade relations," he said.

He discussed with the PM the coronavirus situation in the USA and said that over two lakh people have died there after being infected with the deadly virus. 

"We are close to making vaccines available and hopefully those will be available in the market in the next two weeks," he said.

According to Biegun, several US companies are manufacturing the vaccines as widespread vaccination will start from next year.

The US deputy secretary of state highly appreciated Bangladesh's tremendous economic stability and progress under the leadership of Hasina.

He said Bangladesh is attracting foreign investment in huge volumes. The United States wants to further strengthen cooperation with Bangladesh in the energy sector, he added.

Hasina said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country to attract more investment from home and abroad as well as generate employment.

She also briefly highlighted her government's steps to contain the Covid-19 alongside keeping the wheels of the country's economy moving.

US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller and PM's Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus were present during the meeting.


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