ASEAN: Dhaka seeks Jakarta’s proactive role for Rohingya repatriation

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Dhaka, Aug 17: Bangladesh has requested Indonesia to remain proactive in ASEAN platform to convince Myanmar for creating a conducive environment for a safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen made the request when outgoing Ambassador of Indonesia to Bangladesh Rina Prihtyasmiarsi Soemarno met him on Tuesday.

Dr Momen suggested that an ASEAN-led observer team may be deployed in the Rakhine State to oversee the repatriation process.

He also said since there was no major violence in the Rakhine State in the last four years, repatriation can start under the supervision of a neutral international body.

The ambassador assured to remain engaged on the issue and continue Indonesia’s support for a durable solution to the crisis.

The Foreign Minister thanked Indonesia for the humanitarian support extended to the Rohingyas and sought political support from it on the repatriation issue.

Terming Indonesia as an important partner of Bangladesh in the South East Asian region, the Foreign Minister suggested that the multi-faceted relations could be expanded if more people to people contacts take place and barriers in trade and investment are removed.

He sought Indonesia’s support towards Bangladesh’s bid to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of the ASEAN.

Dr Momen said as a natural bridge between South and South East Asia, Bangladesh is a genuine candidate to become a Dialogue Partner of the ASEAN.

The Indonesian Ambassador agreed that Bangladesh has attained miraculous economic progress.

She was highly appreciative of the Government of Sheikh Hasina for the recent medical supplies to Indonesia in latter’s battle against Covid-19.

She said the brotherly people of Indonesia would always remember with gratefulness this nice gesture of Bangladesh.

The Foreign Minister noted that Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical products meet 97 percent of local demands and are exported to 144 countries.

He requested Indonesia to ease the registration process for Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products in Indonesia.

Dr Momen noted that world class life saving drugs are available in Bangladesh at a much cheaper price than in many advanced countries.

He congratulated the Indonesian envoy on her successful completion of assignment in Dhaka and thanked her for various initiatives to take the bilateral relations to a newer height.

On Monday, the envoy also met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam.

During both the meetings, she thanked the Government of Bangladesh for the nice support extended to her during her tour of duty.