Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali has urged United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to call upon Myanmar government to take measures to ensure that all the Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh return to Rakhine State.
The minister made the request to UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi during a meeting on Saturday, said a press release.
Grandi is currently visiting Bangladesh and is scheduled to meet the Myanmar refugees in Cox’s Bazar on Monday. He will leave Dhaka on 11 July.
During the meeting, the foreign minister apprised the UNHCR commissioner of the measures taken by Bangladesh government regarding the humanitarian assistance to Myanmar refugees and the undocumented Myanmar nationals.
He also informed the high commissioner about the repatriation of some 236,599 Rakhine Muslims till 2005.
A H Mahmood Ali thanked UNHCR for providing valuable support throughout the process of repatriation of this huge number of Myanmar nationals.
Mahmood also expressed concern over unilateral halt of the repatriation process by Myanmar since 2005 even though 10,820 refugees had been cleared by both countries through verification process.
He said the constant presence of these refugees has created a number of adverse effects on the overall socio-economic, political, demographic, environmental, and humanitarian and security situation of Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts.
Grandi commended the government for being benevolent to host a large number of Myanmar nationals for such a long time as well as for providing the humanitarian assistance to them.
The foreign minister assured Grandi of all sort of cooperation during his visit to Cox’s Bazar.