E-passport from Nov 28

The government is going to issue the much-talked about e-passport (electronic passport) from November 28. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen disclosed this while talking to reporters at its office on Thursday. “At last we are going to issue the e-passport from November 28. However, it will take time for everyone to get the e-passport, he said.

Answering a question from a reporter about this issue, it is applicable for expatriates, he said, “Everyone will get the e-passport. Expatriates will benefit if they get e-passport for a period of 10 years.” “I recently visited Germany,” he said adding that, there is a company called Veridos got the job of creating an e-passport. I have talked to them about this.”

About the recent Europe’s trip, the Foreign Minister said, “I have visited Italy and Greece. A business delegation led by the foreign of the country informed me that they would visit Dhaka.” About Bangabandhu's birth anniversary celebrations, he said it would run all year long. We invite famous people from around the world to Dhaka.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi have said that they will come on March 7,” he said. “We have also expected that, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamed will come, though he has not yet confirmed his arrival in Bangladesh,” he said.

Answering a query on Mayanmar Embassy in Dhaka in a Facebook post, Bangladesh will verify Myanmar’s claim over voluntary nature of some Rohingyas to Myanmar as Myanmar keeps spreading misleading information to the international community to avoid repatriation, he said.

He informed, “We will issue a press statement after verifying the claim.” Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka in a Facebook post claimed 46 displaced persons returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh on their own volition through Taung Pyo Letwe and Nga Khu Ya Reception Centers on Thursday.

Myanmar claimed that the returnees were warmly received by the officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and Ministry of Labour, Population and Immigration, and other officials concerned. Myanmar also claimed that a total of 397 displaced persons have voluntarily returned from Bangladesh to Myanmar till date and they were duly provided with rice, cooking oil and foodstuff monthly by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

A diplomatic source said the UNHCR and the officials at the RRRC are not aware of such voluntary return. Asked about possible relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char from November 15, the Foreign Minister said he does not have any information on that specific date as he just returned home yesterday after wrapping up his Europe tour.

“It’s good if they go (to Bhashan Char). I’ll be very happy,” he said. Earlier, the Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen handed over the cheques on behalf of Saudi government at a programme of foreign ministry here. The Saudi Arabia today handed over cheques of compensation among the relatives of the victims of crane accident that took place in Makkah in 2015.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam was also present on the occasion. The Saudi government gave Tk 2.26 crore for the family of a Bangladeshi who was killed due to the accident while Tk 1.13 crore each for the two injured Bangladeshi nationals. Momen thanked the Saudi government for the compensation and said it’s a gesture of excellent bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.