Bangladesh on Wednesday firmly asked Myanmar to resolve the root causes of problems of the Rohingyas living in Rakhine state so that the Muslim minority refugees staying here could go back home at the earliest, officials said.
Dhaka conveyed its strong the message to the visiting Myanmar special envoy, Kyaw Tin, in three separate simultaneous meetings with prime minister Sheikh Hasina, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and foreign secretary, M Shahidul Haque, in Dhaka.
Myanmar leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi sent Kyaw Tin, who is minister of state for foreign affairs of the country, as her special envoy amid strained relations between the two next-door countries over exodus of thousands of Myanmar citizens to Bangladesh amid persecution.
The Myanmar envoy raised issues including some problems along the border with Bangladesh, an official said, adding, ‘we have told him that the problems are at your side and you need to resolve those’.
Bangladesh said persistent exodus of Myanmar nationals in thousands for years has been creating law and order, social and environmental crises, here.
Bangladesh also reiterated its assurance for extending full cooperation in addressing root causes of the crises in Rakhine state, officials said.
Asked about nature of the root causes of the crises involving the minority Muslims in Rakhine State, widely known as Rohingya, a senior official said Myanmar should settle issues involving the citizenship of the people in question.
Myanmar has been insisting that minority Muslims are not their citizens.
Neither Bangladesh and nor Myanmar made any formal statement about the meetings.
The fleeing of Rohingyas from northern Rakhine began after Myanmar’s army launched ‘clearance operations’ while searching for ‘insurgents’ behind the deadly raids on police border posts, last October.
Escapees from the persecuted Muslim minority have given harrowing accounts of security forces committing mass rape, murders and arsons.
At least 65,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar, a third of them over the past week, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the UN, said on Monday.
In a diplomatic memorandum handed over to Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka, Myo Myint, on December 29, 2016, Bangladesh demanded repatriation of about 50,000 Myanmar citizens who had entered into the country since October 9, 2016.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina sent foreign secretary Shahidul Haque as her special envoy to Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in June last year for conveying Dhaka’s intent for improving bilateral relations with Naypyidaw, in general, and Suu Kyi’s government, in particular.
Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, in her meeting with the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in New York last September, had sought help of Bangladesh to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Kyaw Tin arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday on a three-day official visit.
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