Dhaka hopes new beginning with Myanmar thru’ Rohingya repatriation

Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday said the issue of Rohingya influx with Myanmar remained as an irritant in bilateral relations between the two countries and hoped there would be a new beginning with Myanmar through Rohingya repatriation.

‘With the repatriation of the Rohingyas under the arrangement signed on November 23, 2017, we hope to have a new beginning with Myanmar,’ he said.

Given the shared political, cultural, social, economic history over centuries, the foreign minister said India remains Bangladesh’s most important partner.

The foreign minister was addressing a seminar titled ‘Changing Global Dynamics: Bangladesh Foreign Policy’ highlighting on ‘Evolving Bangladesh Foreign Policy in the Context of Contemporary Geopolitics’ at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam and chairman of BIISS ambassador Munshi Faiz also spoke at the programme.

As a natural connect between South and South-East Asia and beyond, he said Bangladesh will continue to pursue regional cooperation as an engine for sustainable growth and economic integration through Saarc, Bimstec, BBIN, SASEC, and BCIM.

He said to secure economic benefits Bangladesh will continue to forge effective partnerships with other countries.

‘We’ve already developed such partnerships with India, China, Japan, the UK and the USA in recent years across mega infrastructure, power and energy sector projects, etc,’ he said.

On realisation of sustainable development goals, minister Ali said Bangladesh will continue to stretch its partnership in multiple fronts for realisation of sustainable development goals.

He said human rights and fundamental freedoms are the keys to our existence. ‘After ending the culture of impunity through the trial of war criminals who committed genocide and crimes against humanity during our War of Liberation in 1971, we’re now focusing on international recognition of the 1971 genocide.’

He said Bangladesh will continue to maintain a lead role in UN peacekeeping operations by contributing troops, police, including female peacekeepers. ‘We would also gradually bring more focus on peacebuilding activities,’ he added.