1 july 2012
Myanmar has agreed in principle to take all Rohingyas back to their homeland, foreign secretary Mohammad Mijarul Quayes announced on Sunday, reports UNB.
The repatriation of 10 Rohingya families living in the refugee camps has already been finalised in line with an agreement reached between UNHCR, Bangladesh and Myanmar authorities, said the foreign secretary, adding that the Myanmar government also agreed with Bangladesh in principle to take back all Rohingyas step by step.
Besides taking back 28000 Rohingyas registered under the refugee camp, Myanmar has agreed to start the process of repatriation of undocumented and imprisoned Rohingyas in Bangladesh, he said. According to informal estimates, some four lakh 'undocumented' Rohingyas are living in the country, while more than one hundred Rohingyas are in jail, Mijarul Quayes pointed out.
The Myanmar delegation has requested the Bangladesh authorities for a list comprising the names and residential addresses of the undocumented and imprisoned Rohingyas, and will take steps for repatriation after their own verification, said Mijarul. He was briefing journalists at the Foreign Ministry about the 6th Foreign Office Consultations between Bangladesh and Myanmar on July 1.
A nine-member delegation headed by foreign secretary Mohammad Mijarul Quayes represented Bangladesh, while a six-member delegation headed by U Maung Myint, deputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented Myanmar in the meeting at Foreign Ministry.
In the press conference, Mijarul Quayes also told reporters that Myanmar President General Thein Sein has postponed his three-day visit to Bangladesh, which was scheduled from July 15, 2012.
The Myanmar president has decided to postpone the visit until after the month of Ramadan due to 'emergency situation' in Myanmar, he added. State of emergency has been declared in northern Rakhine state of Myanmar following the recent outbreak of ethnic violence there.
In the 6th Foreign Office Consultations, Bangladesh has proposed to form a Joint Committee to enhance political relations between the countries, said Mijarul.
Construction of a 128-kilometre road between the countries - 23 kilometres in Bangladesh and 105 kilometres in Myanmar - was also discussed, he said.
Both sides expressed positive intent on other issues that include the signing of a MoU to formalise coastal communication, formation of a Joint Trade Commission and launching of air communication, the foreign secretary said