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Myanmar will honour Rohingya return deals: China conveys

Published : 20 Oct 2022 07:32 PM | Updated : 20 Oct 2022 09:59 PM

Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming on Thursday conveyed to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen that the current military government of Myanmar would “honour” all the previous agreements signed between Dhaka and Naypyidaw.

The ambassador also conveyed Myanmar’s willingness to take back Rohingyas after verification.

He conveyed this message to the foreign minister at a meeting on Thursday at the state guesthouse Padma. The foreign minister later briefed journalists about the development.

“That’s good news,” he said, while conveying the ambassador’s message. The foreign minister said he also requested China to play a role so that Myanmar takes back Rohingyas who are living at the ‘zero point’.

He, however, said Myanmar did not give them any specific date for the repatriation to begin.

“Chinese side has yet to come up with good news when it comes to Rohingya repatriation...but they are continuing their efforts. They (China) are facilitators, not decision-makers. We are requesting them again and again,” he said.

Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.2 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district since August 25 in 2017, and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and other rights groups dubbed as "genocide".

 Both countries signed a repatriation agreement on November 23, 2017, but not a single Rohingya went back to their land of origin in Rakhine state from Bangladesh so far. 

The repatriation attempts failed twice due to trust deficit. Bangladesh is focusing on safe, sustainable and dignified return so that they are never pushed into other countries.

 China came to the scene to play a mediator role four years back through a tripartite mechanism with Bangladesh and Myanmar to find a durable solution to the crisis. 

 “Its (Rohingya) a priority issue for Bangladesh. We need a quick and sustainable solution to the crisis,” he said.

 The foreign minister, however, said the situation along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border has improved. “It’s a good development”.

 Earlier, Chinese Ambassador Jiming at a recent event had indicated that they are going to formally share the "feedback" with the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry based on what they talked with the Myanmar side.