Army chief’s Myanmar tour to add more negotiation line: FM

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:22, Nov 27,2019 | Updated: 01:55, Nov 28,2019


Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen addresses reporter at state guesthouse Padma in the capital city on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. — UNB photo

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said he still believes the Rohingya crisis would be resolved through discussions and the upcoming visit of Bangladesh army chief to Myanmar would open up another line of negotiation over the issue. 

 ‘Myanmar is not our enemy, but a friend…I will welcome the army chief’s visit to the country which I believe would open up a line of negotiation as army has an important role in their country,’ Momen said responding to a question at a press briefing on the prime minister’s visit to Spain next week to attend the 25th Conference of Parties of the Framework Convention on Climate Change at Madrid.

Bangladesh would be benefited from the army’s visit, Momen said as his attention was drawn to media reports on many counties’ boycotting Myanmar army for their atrocities in Rakhine state that forced many Rohingya flee their homeland to take shelter in Bangladesh.

The minister said Bangladesh was in no way responsible for the crisis and it was Myanmar that created it and they must resolve it. He said, around 11 lakh displaced Myanmar nationals’ stay in Cox’s Bazar camps had damaged woods on 6,800 acres of land in Teknaf seriously affecting environment and natural resources there.

The minister claimed that Bangladesh was creating pressure on Myanmar with the support of international communities to take back Rohingyas to their homeland Rakhine state by creating a congenial atmosphere for them. 

Momen said prime minister Sheikh Hasina would leave for Madrid on December 1 and would return home on December 3 while she was scheduled to attend the Heads of State and Government Summit of the COP 25 on December 2 to present Bangladesh’s position on climate change and initiatives taken to address the issue.

She would raise the issue of compensation for adverse impacts of climate change to the global leaders for vulnerable countries like Bangladesh.

On the side-line, she would hold bilateral talks with Spanish president Pedro Sanchez  on December 2.

Chief of army staff General Aziz Ahmed is scheduled go on a weeklong visit to Myanmar on December 8 to further improve the ties with the country.

Early this week, General Aziz said, ‘We have good relations with Myanmar and I will be visiting the country as part of the process to further strengthen the relations.’

More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.

The UNHCR and the government failed in their attempts for sending the Rohingya people as nobody agreed to go back with referring to absence of environment for return in Rakhine so far.  

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