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Diplomatic - February 2, 2022

Momen urges for Asean effort to repatriate Rohingyas

Staff Correspondent: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has requested a more focused effort on part of the Asean for bringing about a durable and permanent solution to Rohingya problem.
The foreign minister called upon the organisation while exchanging New Year greetings over a video call Wednesday (2 February) with the Minister of Foreign Affairs-II of Brunei Erywan Pehin Yusof.
During the conversation, Dr Momen informed that Bangladesh attaches high importance to its warm relations with Brunei, reads a press release.
Both ministers reviewed the important aspects of existing bilateral relations and agreed to explore new areas of cooperation for further cementing the relations.
Referring to his recent telephone calls to his counterparts in the South East Asian countries, Dr Momen shared that he had discussed about the protracted crisis resulting from the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals with all of them and had sought their firm support for persuading Myanmar for creating a congenial situation for a safe, dignified and early repatriation of more than 1.1 million Myanmar nationals from Bangladesh.
Dr Momen also shared his apprehensions with his Bruneian counterpart of the potential security risks for not only Bangladesh, but also South Asia and the South East Asian region if the Rohingya crisis is left festering any longer, added the statement.
He reiterated his call to Myanmar for taking necessary confidence building measures to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of the displaced Rohingya people to the State of Rakhine in Myanmar.
Recognising the huge burden imposed on Bangladesh due to the Rohingya crisis, Dato Erywan Yusof expressed his full sympathy and observed that the situation was unfair to Bangladesh.
He also expressed hope that all sides in Myanmar would remain committed to the mechanism agreed for the repatriation of the displaced people back to Myanmar and would work sincerely for bringing a sustainable solution to this crisis.
Narrating the phenomenal socio-economic development Bangladesh achieved under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dr Momen stressed the importance of accelerating the pace of bilateral trade and commerce, which currently is far below its potential.
Highlighting the attractive investment packages, and the opportunities offered by the 100 economic zones, Dr Momen encouraged the Bruneian investors and business community to avail these opportunities for mutual benefit of the two brotherly people. Bangladesh foreign minister specially referred to the opportunities for the Bruneian entrepreneurs in the areas of ICT and digital economy, Halal trade, agro-processing, fisheries etc.
Erywan Yusof expressed his keen interest on import of Bangladeshi mangoes and emphasised on concluding an Air Service Agreement for facilitating Bangladesh-Brunei bilateral trade, reads the press release.
The Bruneian foreign minister informed that Brunei was expanding its petro-chemical sector, which may open opportunities for recruiting more Bangladeshi manpower in the near future.
Describing the Bangladeshi workers as sincere, hard-working and quick-learners, Dr Momen assured the Bruneian foreign minister of full cooperation in this regard for a win-win collaboration.

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