Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has been invited by his Myanmar counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi to visit her country to attend the 13th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
The summit will be held in Naypyitaw on November 20 and 21. The official invitation letter from Suu Kyi, also the de facto head of Myanmar government, was sent on Wednesday.
A Foreign Ministry official in Dhaka said this was scheduled and they have been expecting the invitation.
Asked whether Bangladesh would join the meetings in the backdrop of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, the official said, “We still have enough time to take a final decision on the matter.”
Meanwhile, the union minister for Myanmar State Counsellor Suu Kyi’s office, U Kyaw Tint Swe, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on October 2 on a two-day visit.
“We want to send the Rohingya back and bilateral discussions will be held with the Myanmar minister,” said another Bangladesh Foreign Ministry official.
Myanmar’s National Security Adviser Thaung Tun at a meeting with AH Mahmood Ali last week in New York had extended his country’s proposal for a meeting with Bangladesh to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis that has drawn global attention and condemnation.
The Foreign Ministry official said earlier in several instances Naypyitaw only wasted time after coming to bilateral meetings on this issue facing international pressure. But this time Bangladesh would be more vigilant.
Until Thursday, around 502,000 Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar after facing brutal persecution, which started in late August, by security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Meanwhile, David Beasley, executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, is also scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Saturday.
A Foreign Ministry official said Beasley is coming upon invitation from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which she had extended during a meeting at the UN. Beasley will also visit the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will also visit Bangladesh in mid-October. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is also likely to visit Dhaka next month.
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune