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Bangladesh to reject China’s proposals on Rohingya crisis

By Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
November 18, 2017

Bangladesh will continue to hold dialogue with Myanmar to resolve the refugee crisis

The government plans to reject a proposal by China recommending Bangladesh seek a bilateral solution to the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis with Myanmar.

The Bangladesh government will speak in favour of international pressure on Myanmar, and will reject China’s offer for mediating an agreement with Myanmar during a meeting scheduled for Saturday.

The meeting will be attended by Bangladesh Minister of Foreign Affairs AH Mahmud Ali and his Chinese counterpart Wang YI, a government official told the Bangla Tribune.

The official added that Bangladesh will continue to hold dialogue with Myanmar to resolve the refugee crisis, but the international community must remain involved in the matter.

China has been recommending Bangladesh reach a bilateral solution to the Rohingya issue with Myanmar, and advised against involving the international community.

Chinese special envoy of Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang pressed this issue during his visit to Dhaka earlier on November this year.

Addressing the matter, the government official said: “Bangladesh has held bilateral discussions with Myanmar over the Rohingya issue on numerous occasions, but had failed to make any headway in resolving the crisis.

“As soon as Bangladesh changed its stance and sought involvement from the international community, attempts to resolve the crisis began,” the official added.

“We do not think China’s offer to help solve the Rohingya crisis, and the recommendation of not involving the international community is acceptable.”

The official also said Bangladesh does not agree with China’s stance on dealing with the Rohingya refugee crisis, and will continue to hold dialogue with the international community, including China, to bring the refugee crisis to an end.

On October 25, following a meeting with Chinese special envoy Sun Guoxiang, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque told reporters: “We have presented our stance over the matter. I told him [Guoxiang] when he visited Bangladesh six months ago, there were only 400,000 Rohingya refugees, now there are over 1,000,000.”

“This is the gravity of the situation,” Shahidul had said.

The foreign secretary had also admitted that China is recommending that Bangladesh should seek a bilateral solution to the Rohingya refugee issue with Myanmar.

This article was first published on Bangla Tribune

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