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Shahriar: New strategy worked out to deal with Rohingya issue

  • Published at 03:00 pm February 19th, 2019
M Shahriar Alam-Penny Mordaunt
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam talking to reporters after his meeting with British Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka’s Eskaton on Tuesday; February 19, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The UK has provided £129 million in funding to Bangladesh for the Rohingya crisis

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, M Shahriar Alam, on Tuesday, said the government has worked out some new strategies after reviewing the overall situation to deal with the Rohingya repatriation issue.

"We have worked out some new strategies after reviewing things and you will soon see implementation of those strategies," he said, while talking to reporters after his meeting with British Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt.

Referring to the government's involvement in multilateral discussions, the State Minister said the government is in discussion with other countries on the Rohingya issue to find a lasting solution to it.

Welcoming British commitment, Shahriar emphasized the need for early repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin.

The meeting, held at state guest house Padma, in Dhaka’s Eskaton, also discussed issues of mutual interest, apart from the Rohingyas and UK's support to resolve the crisis.

The UK is one of the largest donors to the Rohingya crisis, providing £129 million in funding to Bangladesh since the crisis began.

The British Minister, who visited Rohingya camps on Monday, laid emphasis on voluntary repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Myanmar, making sure that they are protected after return.

The UK is committed to remain a steadfast partner to Bangladesh, both in Sheikh Hasina's ambition for a prosperous Bangladesh following her re-appointment as prime minister for the third consecutive term, and in response to the Rohingya crisis, including their safe and dignified return to their own country Myanmar, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry. 

Various bilateral issues, including Brexit, were also briefly discussed at the meeting.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Md Enamur Rahman, and senior officials from the Foreign Ministry, including Director General (West Europe & EU) Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khastagir, joined the state minister at the meeting.

British High Commissioner to Dhaka, Alison Blake, was also present.

The state minister also hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting British secretary of state and her delegation at the same venue where Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni was also present. 

UK aid also supports all communities in Rakhine State and the UK has led the way in terms of both the speed and scale of its humanitarian response.

On her first visit to Myanmar this week before her arrival in Dhaka, Mordaunt called for the most vulnerable to be given a say in their country's future after shifting the work of UK aid in Myanmar to help disadvantaged and conflict-affected people.

Her words come after the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Rakhine state and violations in Kachin and Shan states, all in Myanmar, according to a press release.

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