Momen to focus on Rohingya repatriation on Tashkent conference sideline

Published: 14 Jul 2021

Online Desk

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will focus on Rohingya repatriation issue at bilateral meetings with his Russian, Indian and Chinese counterparts on the sideline of an international conference to be held in Uzbekistan’s capital on July 15-16.

He is scheduled to leave Dhaka for Tashkent Thursday morning to join the conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity - Challenges and Opportunities”, hosted by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to strengthen regional connectivity, reports BSS.

“Foreign ministers of nearly 40 countries and numbers of heads of governments are scheduled to join the conference,” Dr Momen told reporters at his residence here on Wednesday.

He said he had sought to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China on the sideline of the conference to discuss mainly Rohingya repatriation issue while all his counterparts agreed to meet him.

“I will give a brief to my Russian counterpart about the current situation of the Rohingya crisis as well as the resolution on human rights violation against Rohingya that was adopted in the UN (on Monday),” he said.

Momen said he planned the briefing to his Russian counterpart as recently the Myanmar army chief visited Moscow and talked about the arms deal.

The ongoing 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the resolution on "Human Rights Situation of Rohingya Muslims and other Minorities in Myanmar" unanimously for the first time since the massive influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar into Bangladesh in August 2017.

Terming the adaptation of the UN resolution without a vote as a success of Bangladesh’s diplomacy, the foreign minister said “It’s a success … 193 countries of the world solidly said that human rights were violated in Myanmar against Rohingyas and praised Bangladesh (for providing shelter to the displaced Rohingyas).”

In the resolution, the foreign minister said, every UN member country also agreed that Rohingya repatriation is ‘very important and all will do work to materialize the return of Rohingyas to Myanmar, which is the “number one priority” of Bangladesh.        

In the meeting with his Indian counterpart, Dr Momen said, he would also talk about the new UN resolution and the Rohingya repatriation issues as New Delhi is now a member of UN Security Council.

Apart from Rohingya issue, Momen said that he would also discuss other bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India.

About his scheduled meeting with the Chinese foreign minister, Momen said, he would also focus the Rohingya repatriation issue while talking with his Chines counterpart.

During the meeting, Dr Momen said, the Chinese foreign minister would announce that China allocated one million more Chinese vaccines for Bangladesh as a gift.            

About the conference, the foreign minister said that Dhaka would advocate for expediting regional connectivity as Bangladesh has already emerged as the ‘connectivity leader’ in the international arena.     

The Bangladesh foreign minister is also scheduled to hold meetings with Uzbekistan President and aviation minister on the sideline of the conference.

Referring to these meetings, Momen said that he would discuss various bilateral issues between Bangladesh and Uzbekistan including cotton import and setting direct air connectivity between Dhaka and Tashkent.

The high-level international conference is intended to form a political and expert platform for multilateral discussion of the mutually beneficial strategic model - Central Asia - South Asia -in transport and logistics, energy, trade, industry, investment, technological, cultural and humanitarian domains.

The conference will consist of an opening ceremony, to be joined by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, a plenary session, three breakout sessions, and a final part.   

Bangladesh foreign minister is scheduled to return here on Monday.

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