Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Bangladesh offered makeshift refuge to Myanmar’s Rohingya community on humanitarian ground but want them to go back as newly appointed Egyptian ambassador in Dhaka Walid Ahmed Shamseldin made a courtesy call on her at the PMO.
‘We have given them shelter on humanitarian ground . . . now we want them to go back,’ premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as saying during the call.
Sheikh Hasina, he said, told the envoy that Bangladesh is in dialogue with Myanmar and other stakeholders to resolve the crisis ‘but Myanmar is not working according to the agreement’.
The premier, however, said her government was preparing an area for temporary relocation of the 1, 00,000 of the displaced Rohingya population as they were now residing in crammed camps in Cox’s Bazar with an aim to ease their life providing a better environment.
The press secretary said the prime minister and the envoy also discussed issues of mutual interests when ‘she said we attach great importance to our relationship with Egypt as it was one of the first Arab countries to recognise Bangladesh after the 1971 independence’.
She recalled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic visit in November 1974 saying that event laid the foundation of relations between the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina also recalled her visit to Egypt in 2009 to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit.
‘The envoy said he would work for strengthening further the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries,’ Karim said particularly stressing cultural ties between the two countries.
Shamseldin informed the premier that he already met Bangladesh’s cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor to discuss ways for strengthening cultural bonds.
In regard to business times, the ambassador said Egypt was keen to invest in power sector and ready to establish a cable factory in Bangladesh, Karim said adding that the prime minister welcomed the Egypt’s interest for investing in Bangladesh.
‘The (Bangladesh) government is ready to allocate land in the Special Economic Zones to set up their industries,’ she said.
In course of talks the envoy praised Sheikh Hasina’s role in combating terrorism and drug.
The prime minister assured the envoy of giving all support and cooperation in discharging his duties in Bangladesh.
PM’s principal secretary Md Nozibur Rahman was present during the meeting.
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