Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged her visiting South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon to engage Myanmar to achieve a peaceful resolution to the Rohingya crisis, saying it posed a threat to regional stability and peace.
“The displacement of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh has posed risks to (the) peace and stability of our region,” Bangladesh premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as saying during the talks with Lee Nak-yon.
State media reported that Hasina said Dhaka expected Korea to “engage with Myanmar for an early peaceful solution to the crisis” and insisted that sustained international pressure and engagement were needed to substantiate Bangladesh’s efforts.
According to Bangladeshi state media, the South Korean premier said in reply “Anything we can do we’ll do”.
Karim stated that the two premiers led their respective sides in a 40-minute meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office where in addition to the Rohingya crisis, trade, commerce, investment, and technical cooperation were also discussed.
Hasina said Myanmar had failed to create conducive environment in Rakhine barring the expected return of the Rohingyas.
“If the displaced Rohingyas are assured of safety, dignity and access to their land and property, they will be encouraged to go back to Myanmar,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, however, expressed her gratitude to South Korea for supporting adoption of a resolution on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar at the UN General Assembly in November 2018.
“We also appreciate Korea’s humanitarian aid for the Rohingyas,” she stated as her Korean counterpart highly praised Bangladesh for hosting a huge number of Rohingyas.
The premier’s press secretary said Hasina stated that bilateral trade was heavily tilted towards Korea and called on Seoul to allow duty free market access for all of Bangladesh products without any exception.
“To narrow down the trade imbalance, we request you to consider allowing duty free market access for all of our exports without any exception,” Hasina said.
Hasina said Korea might import woven garments, pharmaceuticals, knitwear, jute and jute products, leather and leather goods, frozen food, ceramic items from Bangladesh.
Lee Nak-yon, on his part, said his government would consider Bangladesh’s proposal for duty-and-quota- free access of its goods in South Korea.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)