Dhaka, 4 August 2018:
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP attended the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum’s Foreign Ministerial Meeting at Singapore Expo Convention Center today. Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr. V. Balakrishan chaired the meeting. Foreign Ministers from 27 countries and representative from EU widely discussed various regional and international issues that includes recent diplomatic development between North Korea and United States for bringing peace in the Korean Peninsula, disputes in the South China Sea, situation the Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar, trade disputes, maritime security, cyber crimes, connectivity etc. Many ARF member states like Canada, USA, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia raised their voice in support of the Rohingyas for their safe and sustainable return. Most of the countries in their statements highly praised Bangladesh for giving shelter to more than one million Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh briefed the forum that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the border of this distressed people out of humanitarian consideration. He mentioned that the Rohingya problem is essentially political in nature which has its origin in Myanmar and its solution has to be found there. He also emphasized on maintaining the peaceful environment in the Korean peninsula through the constructive dialogue of the stakeholders.
Earlier, on the sidelines of the ARF Ministerial, Foreign Minister Ali met EU High Representative Fedrica Mogherini in the morning. They discussed elaborately the latest situation in the Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar and the ongoing process of arrangement of repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar. Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali told that he would travel to Myanmar from 9 to 12 August 2018 to see for himself the progress of the preparation of Myanmar for receiving Rohingyas. The EU High Representative told that they are expecting the positive response from Myanmar regarding the Agreement signed between Myanmar and UNDP & UNHCR for creating the conducive environment in the Rakhine State so that the safe and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas may start soon. She mentioned about her visit to the Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar in November last year. Ms. Mogherini assured Bangladesh Foreign Minister about EU’s readiness to assist both Bangladesh and Myanmar for successful implementation of the arrangement on repatriation of this forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.