Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has said the international community is much closer to Bangladesh than ever before over the Rohingya crisis and attributes this as an outcome of diplomacy.
“We’re working and the results are visible,” the minister said on Wednesday at a press meeting at the Foreign Ministry.
Minister Ali said there is no reason to presume that China and Russia are against Bangladesh or in favour of Myanmar, making it clear that these two countries are with Bangladesh.
He added that all countries have supported the Kofi Annan Commission’s report, meaning that they are with Bangladesh over the crisis.
The minister said it is not an easy task to solve such a humanitarian crisis and it will not happen overnight.
“We’re working to find a peaceful solution. We’ve kept nothing left. If necessary, we’ll send special envoys to different countries,” AH Mahmood Ali added.
Explaining progress over the Rohingya issue, Mahmood Ali said there had been no open meeting at the UN Security Council regarding the issue due to opposition from members in the past.
“This issues are discussed in the security council now. This is a progress,” the minister commented.
The Foreign Minister said he will also go to Myanmar after Home Minister’s visit.
He mentioned that two MoUs will be signed during Home Minister’s Myanmar visit.
Highlighting the ongoing Rohingya influx in the country, Mahmood Ali said an unprecedented humanitarian crisis has been created in Bangladesh after Myanmar’s military crackdown on the Rohingyas in Rakhine State on August 25 last.
According to UN data, about 5.4 lakh Rohingya people fleeing violence in Myanmar have taken shelter in Bangladesh since August 25 last, he said.
Minister Ali said the mass exodus has not stopped yet as the Myanmar army is still running violent operations against the minorities.
Other than that, the Foreign Minister mentioned that additional four lakh registered Rohingyas, who fled violence in Rakhine over the last 30 years, earlier took shelter in Bangladesh and most of them are living in makeshift Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Noting that more than nine lakh Rohingya people are now living in Bangladesh, he said the country has decided to give shelter and assistance to the forcedly displaced Rohingyas on humanitarian ground although it is a densely populated country.
“We’ve long been continuing our diplomatic efforts in bilateral, regional and international forums to send Rohingya people back to their homeland safely,” the minister told the journalists.
Mahmood Ali said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently placed the Rohingya issue on the 72nd UN General Assembly and announced her five-point proposal for a permanent solution to long-lasting crisis.
“Our diplomatic efforts are aimed at creating global opinion in favour of our Prime Minister’s proposals. So, it’s urgent to mount pressure on Myanmar through the UN Secretary General and its Security Council. We’ll continue our all-out efforts in this regard,” he said.
Citing the Kofi Annan Commission’s report, the Foreign Minister said Kofi Annan has already asked the Myanmar government to hold bilateral meetings with Bangladesh to repatriate its forcedly displaced people and implement the recommendations of his Commission’s report.