Rohingya Repatriation: Dhaka urges Berlin to put pressure on Myanmar 


Dhaka, October 19: Bangladesh has urged Germany to put pressure on Myanmar so that they can start taking their nationals back, noting that not a single Rohingya has been repatriated over the last two years.Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen made the call during his meeting with German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas in Berlin on Friday, a senior official told UNB after the meeting.

Dr Momen conveyed his German counterpart that Myanmar agreed to take their nationals back from Bangladesh but till today they have not taken a single Rohingya back.

He asked German Foreign Minister Maas to put pressure on Myanmar so that they take their nationals back.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed was also present at the meeting.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown against Rohingyas in Rakhine State.

On Brexit issue, Dr Momen said Bangladesh does not want to see any uncertainty in the developed countries.

He said uncertainty will affect the emerging and small economies that are actively involved with the UK and European Union (EU).

The Foreign Minister invited the German car manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen to invest in Bangladesh and set up their assembly plants in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar in Chattogram.

He described the Special Economic Zones set up by the government of Bangladesh in different places, and the presence of strong middle class and their growing purchasing power.

Apart from strong domestic market in Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister said the German investors can take advantage of connectivity with big markets of China and India, and Asean.

German investment was sought particularly in infrastructure development, IT, skill development of young force, renewable energy, capacity building of SMEs and other areas.

The two sides discussed ways effectively to look into the GSP-plus facility for Bangladesh when EBA expires due to Bangladesh’s graduation from the LDC club.

Earlier, the Foreign Minister addressed the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) in Berlin on Thursday and highlighted the investment opportunities on a win-win basis.

He called upon the German businesses to invest in Bangladesh taking advantage of business-friendly policies and environment in Bangladesh.

Dr Momen on Wednesday began his visit to multiple European countries as Bangladesh is giving much importance to boosting its exports to the European market through further diversification of products as part of its economic diplomacy.

The minister will also visit France, Italy and Greece.

From Berlin, the Foreign Minister will visit Paris from October 20-22 and attend an Economic Forum there apart from his other engagements.

The Economic Forum will be organised by the French Senate where representatives of BEZA and BIDA are also expected to attend.

The Foreign Minister will visit Rome, Italy on October 27 and Athens, Greece on October 28-29, according to an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, Dr Momen will attend the 18th NAM ministerial meeting on October 23-24 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The NAM Summit, also to be attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be held on October 25-26.

The Foreign Minister will return home on October 30.