The foreign ministers of Asian and European countries have agreed on the broad points of the Rohingya issue, and asked for the immediate cessation of hostilities, a halt to the outflow of Rohingya from Rakhine State, and an early return to Myanmar for the displaced population in Bangladesh.
They also asked for the implementation of the recommendations from the Kofi Annan Commission for a sustainable solution to the crisis.
On Monday morning, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali attended an informal briefing on the state of Rakhine.
The foreign ministers of Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Russia, Luxemburg, France, Thailand, Hungary, Finland, Sweden and a high ranking representative of the EU were in attendance.
The Bangladesh foreign minister also attended the first day of 13th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers, where he is leading a four-member Bangladesh delegation.
The foreign minister was at two plenary sessions, titled "Synergizing Peace and Sustainable Development" and "3rd Decade of ASEM: Making ASEM Partnership more Dynamic and connected."
At the meeting, Mahmood Ali reaffirmed Bangladesh's firm commitment to peace and development. He also stressed on inclusive development embracing minorities, by ensuring rights and equal opportunity, in order to achieve a sustainable peace.
The foreign policy veteran also highlighted the participants' shared interests in encouraging peace, security and stability.
The foreign minister emphasized that marginalization and the denial of basic rights creates insecurities, which can lead to forced displacement and destabilize regions. He further urged that attendees work together to promote inclusion and tolerance for peace and development.
On the sidelines of the event, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Switzerland, Hungary, Estonia, Finland and the United Kingdom. They discussed bilateral matters and exchanged views on the Rohingya crisis, particularly the early return of the displaced Rohingya and the imperative for an inclusive and durable solution to the protracted problem.
Bangladesh and Hungary signed an MOU on Educational Cooperation for the years from 2018-20.
Mahmood Ali and Hungary Foreign Minister Peter Szijjartto signed the MOU on behalf of their respective governments. Hungary has offered 100 scholarships every year for studies in the fields of agriculture, economics, natural science, medicine and healthcare.
The Hungarian minister also offered to train Bangladeshis in the field of nuclear energy.