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Jt working group to implement instrument with Myanmar: Shahriar
Terming the signing of Rohingya repatriation instrument with Myanmar a great diplomatic success of the government, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Thursday said a joint working group will be formed by three weeks as the second step to implement it.
Talking to reporters after attending an international dialogue on Blue Economy at a city hotel, he also said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will hold a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Saturday to brief the media elaborately about the deal and discussions with Myanmar authorities.
“The signing of the deal [instrument] is the initial step towards sending back over 10 lakh Rohingyas. This is also a welcome step,” the state minister said.
In the second step, he said, a joint working group will be formed by two or three weeks. “The two sides will work out the terms of reference where we will have to agree on a wide range of issues.”
Shahriar hoped that the diplomatic efforts made by the Foreign Ministry under the super vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will help successfully repatriate the Rohingyas taken shelter in Bangladesh.
Replying to a question, he also said, “Surely, the repatriation deal [instrument] with Myanmar is a great diplomatic success of the government over resolving the Rohingya issue.”
Earlier in the day, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an ‘instrument’ on Rohingya repatriation with high hopes that the forcibly displaced Rohingyas will start returning to their homeland within the next two months.
The two neighbouring nations struck the instrument in the afternoon following a meeting between Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in the morning at Suu Kyi's office.
Over 622,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border and taken shelter in Cox's Bazar district since August 25 amid persecution by Myanmar military in their Rakhine State.
Earlier, speaking at the concluding session of the ‘Second International Blue Economy Dialogue, Dhaka-2017, Shahriar said the dialogue focused on deepening coordinated approach among the littoral states for security risk management to enhance regional maritime security and surveillance against international threat and terrorism.
He said the experts in the two-day event also suggested initiating capacity-building programmes to create skilled technical manpower, formulating an effective policy and strategy for coordination and designing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) at the national level, involving financial community for further development of Blue Growth sectors and establishing co-funding mechanism by governments to support private funding, promoting marine aquaculture and putting special consideration towards unconventional approaches, investing in research and development, including market research and enhancing productivity of the existing ports and logistics, and encouraging coastal shipping through inland waterways.
“I’m sure we’ll receive your continuous supports in taking the issue of Blue Economy to every household of Bangladesh so that we can achieve inclusive, smart, and sustainable Blue Economy,” the state minister said pointed at the experts.
The dialogue, arranged by the Foreign Ministry, began on Wednesday with the participation of as many as 32 prominent experts on ocean affairs from different countries.
Besides, 250 officials, experts, teachers and students from each and every corner of Bangladesh joined the programme.