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OIC chief due Wednesday; Rohingya issue on agenda

(Photo: UNB)

July 31, 2017

Secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef A Al Othaimeen is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Wednesday and will visit Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar on Friday to see the situation there, reports UNB.

The OIC repeatedly condemned the violence and abuse against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar in the past months.

Othaimeen is likely to reiterate its call to the government of Myanmar to eliminate the 'root causes' affecting the Rohingya Muslim minority, a diplomatic source told UNB.

The OIC council of foreign ministers during the extraordinary session on 19 January in Kuala Lumpur urged Myanmar to eliminate the root causes affecting the Rohingya Muslim minority and restore their citizenship.

The secretary general will lead a five-member delegation during the four-day visit, officials at the foreign ministry said.

This will be his first visit to Bangladesh since assuming charge as the OIC secretary general.

During the visit, Othaimeen will meet president Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday.

He will also hold a meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali who will host a dinner in honour of him in the evening.

The secretary general will visit the Kutupalong camp and surroundings in Cox's Bazar and the Rakhine Muslims there on Friday to express OIC 'sympathy and solidarity' with them.

This will give the OIC secretary general an opportunity of briefing from the local administration and representatives of International humanitarian organisations working there, said foreign ministry officials.

The visit, according to the foreign ministry, will give the secretary general an opportunity to familiarise himself with Bangladesh, a country playing increasingly important role in OIC.

Officials said the visit will also give him the opportunity to seek views and suggestions of Bangladesh leadership on various OIC issues and matters of importance to the Muslim Ummah.

The visit will allow discussion on Bangladesh-OIC secretariat cooperation apart from various other areas of bilateral cooperation as Bangladesh is going to host the 45th OIC council of foreign ministers next year, said the Foreign Ministry.

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