Rohingya crisis: Dhaka hopes to rally support at UNHRC

26 Oct,2017


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Bangladesh has intensified its diplomatic efforts to have a special session of the UN Human Rights Council that adopts a resolution on the Rohingya crisis.
However, holding such a session needs the support of at least one-third, or 16 of the 47 member-countries, according to a diplomatic source.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque briefed the diplomats from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican on Wednesday as part of the government efforts. Senior foreign ministry officials were also present.

The Foreign Secretary also held a meeting with Saudi Ambassador Abdullah HM Al-Mutairi on Rohingya issues, said the source.

The diplomats wanted to know about Bangladesh's short, mid and long term plan about the Rohingya issue. In reply, Bangladesh side said it is focusing on immediate solution and wants to see that Rohingyas are taken back to their homeland as soon as possible, said the diplomatic source.

Over 600,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August 25. They are mostly children, women and aged people from Myanmar.

China wants peaceful solution bilaterally

China wants to see a peaceful resolution to Rohingya crisis bilaterally after which they are sent back to their homeland – Myanmar, says an official on Wednesday.

“Their intention and commitment for sending them (Rohingyas) back is now stronger,” Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque told reporters quoting Chinese special envoy for Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang after their meeting.

He said naturally Bangladesh raised their stance and he informed the Chinese envoy that six months ago when he came here, the number of Rohingyas was 400,000 and now it is one million. “It’s the reality.”

The Foreign Secretary said they (China) are very worried about the crisis thinking that it is not good for this region. He, however, said the question of mediation by China did not come up for discussion.

“We sought support in the areas where we need. We’re always optimistic and this time, too (regarding repatriation),” said the Foreign Secretary adding that he sees some positive signs.
He said the only issue discussed at the meeting was Rohingya issue and Bangladesh’s position is to send them back safely.
“Our stance is that their nationals will have to be taken back. It’s our one-point agenda. It’s an unbearable burden. The Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) allowed them to stay here on humanitarian ground. But their stay can’t linger on,” he said.

Replying to a query on what is China’s position over the issue, the Foreign Secretary said Myanmar and Bangladesh are both friends of China. “They want to bring a peaceful resolution working with the two friends.”

Sun Guoxiang, who arrived at 12:50am on Wednesday, will leave Dhaka for Beijing early Thursday.

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