Hon’ble Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali MP held two back-to-back diplomatic briefings this afternoon at the State Guest House Padma .Ambassadors/ High Commissioners/ CDAs a.i. from diplomatic Missions of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Netherlands, USA, UK, and EU and representatives from UN Resident Coordinator, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, IOM, ICRC were present at the first diplomatic briefing and during the second diplomatic briefing, Ambassadors/ High Commissioners/ CDAs a.i. from diplomatic Missions of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE remained present.
The Foreign Minister briefed the diplomats about the current situation regarding influx of Rohingyas and apprised that around 300,000 Rohingyas have already entered Bangladesh in last two weeks. He also mentioned that Bangladesh has already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for 03 decades and currently the total number of Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh has reached over 700,000. This is creating huge challenge for Bangladesh in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistances to them.
The Foreign Minister highlighted that Bangladesh has always preferred bilateral solution to this long standing problem and was successful in repatriating 236,599 Rohingyas to their homeland through a bilateral agreement in 1992. He mentioned that the 1992 Agreement recognized Rohingyas as ‘members of Myanmar society’. Foreign Minister also highlighted Bangladesh’s efforts to address the security concerns of Myanmar particularly by proposing MOUs in 2014 on Border Liaison Office and Security Dialogue. Bangladesh has also proposed joint inspection, coordinated patrolling of border; and ‘joint operation’ along the border. Unfortunately Myanmar has not responded to these proposals. Rather, they have been running a malicious propaganda terming the Rohingyas as ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh’ and the attackers to their BGP posts as ‘Bengali terrorists’.
The Foreign Minister referred to the recently published report of the Kofi Annan Commission and urged the international community to pursue the Myanmar Government for immediate and unconditional implementation of the recommendations of this report in its entirety for permanent solution to this crisis. He also requested the international community to help Bangladesh with urgent humanitarian assistances to address the current crisis, support for transportation of the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, as well as to provide political support to ensure sustainable return of all Myanmar nationals to their homes in Myanmar.
The diplomats thanked the government of Bangladesh for the briefing. They highly praised the government of Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingyas for all these years and also giving shelter to the Myanmar nationals who are fleeing violence in the Rakhine State. They also stressed on the protection of civilians and urged to stop disproportionate use of force during the ongoing military operation in Rakhine.
Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary and other senior officials of the Foreign Ministry were also present.