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State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Monday hoped there will be a solution to the Rohingya crisis through concerted diplomatic efforts although it does not look to be an easy job.
“We don’t think this problem will be resolved easily. At the same time, we don’t think that this problem will prolong,” he said, adding that they are absolutely under no such illusion of having easy solution to the crisis.
The State Minister was addressing a roundtable titled ‘Rohingya Crisis on Humanitarian Perspective’ jointly arranged by South East Asia Cooperation (SEACO) IBCF in Dhaka.
He said the government is pushing for sending Rohingyas back to their homeland safely and with dignity. “They’ll surely take back their [Myanmar] nationals. We keep telling them and we’ll convey our message to Myanmar in a stronger way.”
Appreciating the support the government is getting from the international community, Shahriar said, “We’ve been able to engage the international community fully.”
Citing recent reaction came from the Myanmar side after Security Council Presidential Statement on Myanmar, he said it means their efforts are yielding results and the reaction came as they are getting hurt.
Brushing aside the confusion over India’s support, the State Minister said he does not believe that the Indian External Affairs Minister makes statement only to make Bangladesh happy.
Regarding China’s position, all (countries) do not necessarily speak for Bangladesh the way Bangladesh speaks as these countries also have bilateral relations with Myanmar.
Shahriar also explained why Bangladesh is not giving refugee status to Rohingya people. “We aren’t considering giving them the refugee status.”
According to a UNB report, the State Minister said Tuesday and this week is extremely important for Bangladesh considering discussion in the UN and visit of a number of foreign ministers, including China. The Foreign Ministers will also visit Cox’s Bazar to see the situation on the ground and get a better understanding about the crisis, he said.
Former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury presented the keynote paper in the roundtable chaired by former Foreign Secretary M Mohsin.
Former Foreign Secretary Md. Touhid Hossain, former Ambassador Humayun Kabir, SEACO Foundation Executive Chairman Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman of Islamic Banks Consultative Forum (IBCF) and IBBL Arastoo Khan, Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) President Md. Alamgir Jalil, Vice Chairman of IBCF A K M Nurul Fazal Bulbul, Chairman of Shahjalal Islami Bank limited Engr. Md. Towhidur Rahman, Member of SEACO Foundation Wajid Ali Khan Panni spoke at the roundtable moderated by former Principal Secretary and SEACO Foundation Secretary General Md Abdul Karim.