Expressing concern over continued influx of Rohingya Muslims, Dhaka has asked Naypyidaw to immediately halt the exodus of Rohingyas and repatriate all their nationals staying in Bangladesh for years. Bangladesh has also expressed readiness to engage with Myanmar to discuss the process and modalities of repatriation to ensure a sustainable solution to the problem in the restive state of Rakhine, reports the Daily Times.
The offer was made at a bilateral meeting between visiting Myanmar State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kyaw Tin, also the special envoy of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Bangladesh Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmood Ali. The Myanmar delegation stated that it would take back 2,415 citizens from, which is only a small fraction of the 300,000 Myanmar citizens who took refuge, said meeting sources.
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Myanmarese delegates also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Gono Bhaban Wednesday evening and discussed the Rohingya situation and bilateral issues. According to sources, the Bangladesh delegation at the bilateral meeting said at least 65,000 Myanmar citizens took shelter in Bangladesh since October 9 last year, which is in excess of over 300,000 Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh for years.
Dhaka also asked Naypyidaw to urgently address the “root cause” of the problem in Rakhine so that the Muslims there need not be desperate to seek shelter across the border. Sources said the Bangladesh side also asked the Myanmar delegation to immediately stop persecution and ethnic cleansing in Rakhine to stop influx and restore confidence among the Rohingyas staying in Bangladesh so that they feel encouraged to return home. Meanwhile, the Myanmar delegation dismissed the allegations of abuses by security forces in Rakhine. Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and other senior foreign ministry officials took part in the meeting.