US assures help on Rohingya issue
The United Stated has assured Bangladesh of full support in implementation of the latter's first-ever national strategy to address the issue of refugees and undocumented Myanmar nationals here.
The assurance came at a meeting between Anne C Richard, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration, and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque in Washington DC on Thursday.
The Bangladesh cabinet on September 9 last year approved the National Strategy Paper to identify, locate and ensure the return of three to five lakh undocumented Myanmar citizens (Rohingya) to their home.
Appreciating Bangladesh's efforts on the Rohingya issue, the US official also assured her country would continue its constructive engagement with the Myanmar government to resolve the problem, said a foreign ministry press release.
Shahidul Haque appreciated the US President's insistence that the displacement of Myanmar Muslims should be resolved within Myanmar as it had its origin there.
The foreign secretary, who is leading a Bangladesh delegation on a five-day visit, also had meetings with other US officials.
Meeting Rose Gottemoeller, acting under secretary for Arms Control & International Security, Shahidul expressed satisfaction with the regular completion of the security dialogue and the defence dialogue between Bangladesh and the US.
He also welcomed the third defence dialogue to be held in Dhaka on April 22 this year.
Meanwhile, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) officials at a meeting with the foreign secretary congratulated Bangladesh for achieving eligibility for its assistance programme as per its annual scorecard in 2014.
The foreign secretary briefed the MCC on Bangladesh's recent achievements in the economic and social sectors as well as in the governance and anti-corruption measures.
At a meeting with Daniella Ballou-Aares, senior adviser to the secretary of state on development, Shahidul discussed the possible areas of bilateral and multilateral engagements with the US government on Post-2015 Development Agenda.
He offered possible opportunities between the two countries in combating adverse impacts of climate change, water use efficiency, renewable energy, technology transfer, and engagements in Blue Economy (Oceans and Seas).
The US senior adviser expressed the US government's interests in working with Bangladesh as the contours of new global partnership surrounding development issues take shape.
At another meeting, the foreign secretary briefed Nicholas Dean, senior director for South Asia of National Security Staff at the White House, on the recent developments in Bangladesh, particularly the workers' rights and workplace safety in the RMG sector.
The senior director appreciated Bangladesh's achievements in ensuring safety and workers rights in the RMG sector within a very short time and acknowledged the commitment of the Bangladesh government.