UK ready to lift cargo flights ban: Boris

Diplomatic Correspondent | Updated at 10:08am on February 10, 2018

The United Kingdom would remove restrictions imposed on direct cargo flights from Bangladesh at the earliest, British secretary of state of foreign and commonwealth affairs Boris Jhonson said in Dhaka on Friday.
He also said that the international community should find out ways for expedited return of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
‘It is all but done as I know that the government of Bangladesh has made a huge efforts to sort out the air cargo issue and we are very pleased with progress that has been made,’ he said replying to a question at a press conference indicating that the British government would allow resumption of cargo flights soon.
Boris Jhonson reached Dhaka on Friday on a two-day official visit in his first-ever tour of Bangladesh.
Replying to another question on Rohingya matters, he said, ‘We all in the international community need to work out how we can solve the issue on the other side of the border [Myanmar]. All we want to see is safe, dignified and secure return for the Rohingya to their place of origin.’
Boris Jhonson called on prime minister Sheikh Hasina at her Ganabhaban residence in evening when he emphasised quick repatriation of Rohingyas saying that delay in the repatriation might complicate the issue, the PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said, according to state news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
Terming the Rohingyas stay here as a big burden on Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh gave temporary shelter to more than one million Myanmar nationals on humanitarian ground.
They also talked about conviction and imprisonment by court of former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case, a senior government official said.
Ihsanul Karim said the prime minister brought to the notice of the British foreign minister the attack on Bangladesh high commission office in London on Wednesday last by an unruly group.
The British minister assured the prime minister of looking into the matter, the press secretary said.
Boris Jhonson also held official talks with his Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali at the State Guest House Padma where the two sides discussed all aspects of bilateral relations.
He would visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar today. He would leave Dhaka today for Myanmar to discuss with the Burmese government the steps needed to enable Rohingyas to return to their homes.
The British authorities imposed 10 conditions, including following the UK model in aviation security, in early 2017 to lift an embargo to direct cargo flights in a blow to Bangladesh’s export by air routes to Europe.