Monday, August 19, 2019 | ePaper

Dhaka-London talks

Solution to Rohingya crisis figured high

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Bangladesh has sought UK's continued global leadership in ensuring international efforts in all facets of Rohingya crisis, including accountability on the part of Myanmar for alleged atrocities committed against the Rohingyas.
Bangladesh also welcomed UK's efforts in playing a leading role at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The issue of finding a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis figured high in the discussions.
The issue came up for discussions at the third Strategic Dialogue between the UK and Bangladesh held at state guesthouse Padma on Wednesday that touched upon 17 specific topics.
Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Md Shahidul Haque and British FCO Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Simon McDonald led the respective sides at the Strategic Dialogue in which the issue of finding a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis "figured high".
Talking about the Rohingya issue on Tuesday, the British senior official who visited Myanmar in January said Myanmar is very well aware about international interest in the Rohingya issue and many international visits over the past months in Myanmar have shown to Myanmar that this is not an issue that the international community is going to let it be dropped.
He said the UK, as one of the permanent members of the UNSC, is the penholder on Rohingya issue in New York. "This is a constant feature of our dialogue."
Sir Simon said he thinks it is going to take a long time to solve, and mentioned that Myanmar is a country that acknowledges 130 different ethnic groups but the Rohingya people are not among them. "This is a key issue for us and we aren't going to let it be dropped."
On Wednesday, Sir Simon highlighted that the UK is the second largest provider of humanitarian    assistance to the Rohingya crisis. He reiterated the UK's long-term commitment to supporting Bangladesh in its humanitarian response and the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
Both sides stressed the importance of good governance, human rights and media freedom for any functioning democracy and also for Bangladesh's economic and social development, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The dialogue demonstrated the full depth of the Bangladesh-UK relationship and involved exchange of views on political relations, celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, trade and investment, education and skills, good governance and human rights, the future development partnership, migration and security and defence cooperation, and regional and global issues of mutual interest.
As fellow Commonwealth members, the UK and Bangladesh stood in solidarity with and condemned the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka that claimed scores of innocent lives and agreed to continue to cooperate on security, countering terrorism and violent extremism to safeguard their citizens and global humanity from this menace.
Commenting on the Strategic Dialogue, Foreign Secretary Haque said it has been a very productive and fruitful exchange of notes. "We discussed all the aspects of our relations-bilateral, regional and multilateral. We've a long-lasting and deep-trusted relationship with the people and the government of the UK since our Independence."

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