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Momen: Rohingya issue not sidelined by Afghan crisis

  • Published at 01:48 pm September 23rd, 2021
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen
File photo of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The foreign minister said that the Rohingya issue was still very much relevant

The Rohingya repatriation issue has not been sidelined by the Afghanistan crisis, says Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

“Many are saying the Afghan issue will sideline the Rohingya crisis but that’s not the case,” he said while briefing the media at the Lottee New York Hotel on Wednesday.

His remarks came after the United Nations resident coordinator Mia Seppo remarked that the world currently has its attention on the Afghan crisis, thus sidelining the Rohingya issue.

Disagreeing with Seppo, Momen remarked that the issue is still very much relevant.

Responding to media queries on the prime minister’s recent “SDG Progress Award,” by the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the foreign minister said that her leadership skills have been greatly praised internationally.

Also Read - PM Hasina: Global inaction over Rohingya repatriation shocks Bangladesh 

“We used to seek appointments with other countries before and sometimes didn’t get it. Now they seek appointments from us,” said Momen.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh envoy to the United Nations Rababa Fatema said that the solution to the ongoing crisis lies in Myanmar.

“The Rohingyas returning to their homeland is the only solution,” she said, adding that every measure was being taken to ensure that.

She added that talks were underway to ensure that the Rohingyas can have a safe and dignified return.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina demanded intensified global actions with "real urgency" to repatriate Rohingyas, saying inaction of major international powers over the crisis shocked Bangladesh as it extended them makeshift refuge on humanitarian grounds, straining the country's resources.

"As I repeatedly said they (Rohingyas) are Myanmar nationals and hence, they must go back to their homeland, Myanmar, in safety and dignity," she told a high-level interaction of global stakeholders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on Wednesday afternoon (Bangladesh time early Thursday.)

Also Read - UN expert: Myanmar military junta continues denying Rohingya existence

She insisted that the issue was a matter of regional and global security concerns and therefore it needed urgent resolution.

She also put her weight towards the campaign to expose to justice the people responsible for persecution of the minority Rohingya community for the sake of justice and infusing a sense of confidence among the victim population in returning their home.

The prime minister said since that mass exodus in 2017, at all the successive UNGAs, she placed specific proposals for a sustainable solution to the crisis and the government has maintained bilateral engagements with Myanmar.

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