India for safe return of Rohingyas, Dhaka wants Delhi to put pressure on Myanmar


Dhaka, October 22: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said it is clear that normalcy over the Rohingya issue will be restored only with the return of the displaced people to Rakhine state.

“India is deeply concerned at the spate of violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar. We’ve urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population,” she said.

Sushma said they have also supported the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Kofi Annan led Special Advisory Commission report on Rakhine State.

The Indian External Affairs Minister came up with India’s position over Rohingya issue at a joint briefing after the fourth Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting between Bangladesh and India held at Sonargaon Hotel in the city.

She also laid emphasis on creating economic opportunities in Rakhaine. “In our view, the only long-term solution to the situation in Rakhine State is rapid socio-economic and infrastructure development that would have a positive impact on all the communities living in the State.”

India, she said, for its part, has committed to providing financial and technical assistance for identified projects to be taken in Rakhine in conjunction with the local authorities.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh urged India to contribute towards “exerting sustained pressure” on Myanmar to find a peaceful solution to Rohingya crisis including sustainable  return off all Rohingyas to their homeland.

“We’re happy to be reassured that India would continue to support the humanitarian cause related to Rohingyas in Bangladesh,” he said.

Minister Ali thanked the Indian side for humanitarian assistance provided for Roihingyas.

Around 6 lakh Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August 25 and the aid agencies struggling to meet their growing need with limited resources.

India launched ‘Operation Insaniyat’ in September to support the government of Bangladesh in its commendable efforts to provide shelter in Cox’s Bazar to lakhs of displaced people who have fled Rakhine.

“Through this operation, we’ve supplied essential requirements by way of parboiled rice, dal, salt, sugar, cooking oil, tea, milk powder, mosquito nets and soap to about 300,000 displaced persons,” said the Indian minister.

The materials have been distributed to the intended recipients through the district administration in Cox’s Bazar.

Earlier, both the ministers reviewed the whole gamut of bilateral relations and the decisions taken so far.

Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Sunday on a two-day official visit to discuss bilateral issues aiming to take forward the ties to the next level.

Mahmood Ali received her at Bangabandhu Air Force base on her arrival at 1:41 pm.

Earlier, Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley paid a three-day official visit to Dhaka from October 3 at the invitation of Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

The two ministers reviewed the status of economic cooperation and development partnership initiatives taken during the visit of Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June 2015 and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to India in April 2017.

India and Bangladesh have witnessed a deepening of bilateral economic cooperation in recent years, particularly in terms of increasing volumes of trade and investment flows, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

Source: UNB