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Cambodia can play vital role in Rohingya return as ASEAN chair: FM

Published : 18 Jan 2022 10:52 PM | Updated : 19 Jan 2022 02:14 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the Cambodian chairmanship of ASEAN provided a great opportunity for them to facilitate the speedy, safe and dignified return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar.

Dr Momen spoke to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn on Tuesday and discussed the issues of mutual interests. 

The Foreign Minister congratulated his Cambodian counterpart on Cambodia’s assumption of ASEAN Chairmanship and on the latter’s appointment as the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar.  

Dr Momen also sought to sensitize his Cambodian counterpart of the potential security risks to Bangladesh, Myanmar and to the greater region if the crisis is left festering for a much longer period of time due to the vulnerability of the displaced people to radicalism, extremism, terrorism and cross-border crimes.  

Referring to the longstanding and excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, Dr Momen mentioned that Bangladesh highly valued its relations with Cambodia as an important partner in the neighborhood. 

Lauding the ‘big heart’ demonstrated by Bangladesh in sheltering 1.1 million displaced Myanmarese people, Prak Sokhonn expressed his full understanding of and sympathy for the difficulties being faced by Bangladesh in this regard and assured of his best efforts in bringing about a sustainable solution to the problem.   

The Myanmar nationals are currently being sheltered in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds.

Both the ministers highly appreciated the praiseworthy steps taken by the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and Cambodia for mutual naming of a prominent street in the capitals Dhaka and Phnom Penh, which took the bilateral relations between the two countries to new heights.

On Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s request for Cambodia’s support in expediting Bangladesh’s bid for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership status, the Cambodian Foreign Minister assured of necessary coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat in this regard. 

As Dr Momen extended a cordial invitation to his Cambodian counterpart for a visit to Bangladesh and to take a firsthand look at the sheltered Rohingya people, the latter readily accepted the invitation. 

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