‘Myanmar’s recent proposal to address Rohingya issue is a tactic to escape pressure’: FM

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Dhaka, October 10: Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Tuesday said Bangladesh sees the recent proposal from Myanmar to address the Rohingya issue as a mere tactic to avoid international pressure.The foreign minister said this at a discussion at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in the capital.

He, however, maintains that Dhaka wants the international community to continue exerting pressure on Myanmar to impel it to repatriate the ‘forcibly displaced Rohingya nationals’.

The minister added: “Myanmar itself assured Bangladesh of repatriation of its nationals through scrutiny. But it wants to follow the repatriation policy adopted between Bangladesh and Myanmar in 1992.”

Bangladesh, however, informed the Myanmar government about the intensity of the situation and exceptions this time around, he said.

The minister mentioned that Dhaka has prepared a draft modality for the proper repatriation of the Rohingyas.

He said Bangladesh has been trying to improve bilateral relations with Myanmar since 2012.

“But Myanmar seems to be reluctant to do so,” said the minister adding Myanmar officials visited Bangladesh but the bilateral talks have so far yielded no result.

Mahmood Ali said the Bangladesh embassy in Myanmar informed the foreign ministry that Rohingyas were called as ‘Bengal terrorists’ in their media.

The foreign ministers of European Union countries are scheduled to sit in Brussels on 16 October to discuss the Rohingay issue.

They may discuss the role of the army chief of Myanmar, the foreign minister said.

The foreign minister said it will be clear in a couple of weeks whether Myanmar is really interested in repatriating its nationals.

Mahmood Ali also said Myanmar must play a positive role in resolving the Rohingya crisis.