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Rohingya return: Bangladesh-Myanmar-China talks this noon

Staff Correspondent || shiningbd

Published: 11:36, 19 January 2021   Update: 15:26, 19 January 2021
Rohingya return: Bangladesh-Myanmar-China talks this noon

Photo: Collected

A tripartite meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China is finally going to be held today (Tuesday) at noon on Rohingya repatriation. The secretary-level meeting will be held on virtually. The Bangladesh delegation will be led by Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen.

Discussions on Rohingya repatriation between Dhaka and Naypyitaw have been suspended for almost a year due to the coronavirus epidemic and Myanmar's general election. As the repatriation of Rohingya has not started, this time the meeting is going to be mediated by China.

According to a senior official, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui will join the representatives of Bangladesh and Myanmar from Beijing.

As the only solution to the crisis, the international community sees the repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar.

Bangladesh wants to start the repatriation as soon as possible. Bangladesh and China will convey their views to Myanmar at the meeting to expedite the repatriation process.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh has handed over a list of 840,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification and selection. But Myanmar has only verified the data of 42,000 people. He said they have importance lacking in this regard.

However, the foreign minister expressed optimism about the start of repatriation. Because Myanmar took back its citizens in 1978 and 1992.

This will be the second such meeting between the three countries. Earlier, they held a foreign minister-level meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2019.

Two attempts to repatriate the refugees to their homeland ended in failure after around 750,000 Rohingyas took shelter in Bangladesh to escape a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State in August 2017.

Rohingyas say there is no guarantee of safety, citizenship, and basic rights in Rakhine where many Rohingyas were killed, women raped and their houses burnt -- for which Myanmar now faces a genocide case in the International Court of Justice.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, has faced serious socio-economic, environmental, security, and diplomatic challenges due to the presence of someone million Rohingyas, many of whom fled to Bangladesh since the 1980s.