AZS Times Desk:
Beijing told Dhaka that initiatives would be required to arrange a second round of ‘tripartite talks’ at the foreign ministerial level between Bangladesh, China and Myanmar on Rohingya repatriation after the Myanmar general elections next month.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made the assurance in a telephonic conversation with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday evening, a foreign ministry press release said on Friday.
After the Myanmar polls, the Chinese foreign minister suggested holding an ambassador level talk first before arranging the foreign ministers’ tripartite meeting over commencing the Rohingya repatriation.
Wang conveyed to Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Momen that Myanmar recently reassured China of taking back the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh once the Covid-19 situation improves.
The envoy said China has been maintaining regular communication with Myanmar at various levels over the Rohingya repatriation issue while Naypyidaw assured Beijing that they would start discussions with Bangladesh soon in this regard.
The Chinese ambassador also laid emphasis on starting tripartite senior level official preparatory talks in Dhaka soon over the Rohingya repatriation.
The first such tripartite meeting among the foreign ministers of Bangladesh, China and Myanmar was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last year.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” by other rights groups.
The telephonic conversation between Bangladesh and Chinese foreign ministers was held on Thursday while the international community sat together in a virtual donor conference to review humanitarian support for Rohingyas and host communities.
The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), co-hosted the conference while Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam joined.
During the conference, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam reminding the international community that Rohingyas took refuse here on temporary basis and they must return to their country of origin soon as Bangladesh is not in a position to swallow this burden any more.
Expressing his dismay that the “role of the United Nations in saving humanity from hell is also not visible in its policy actions towards Myanmar”, Alam urged all stakeholders to put their best efforts to help Rohingyas return to their home in Myanmar.
In a statement on Thursday, the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said ‘P5 members of the UN Security Council’ have a special obligation to contribute to ending violence and aiding the victims of violence of Myanmar.
“The US is working with its partners to stop the cycle of violence in Rakhine State, including by cooperating to end the trafficking of weapons and narcotics that have contributed to instability for so long,” he said.
On Tuesday in a briefing over his recent visit to India and Bangladesh, US Deputy Secretary of State said china played ‘very little’ role in comparison to what ‘should be expected’ from them in resolving the crisis of forcefully displaced Rohingyas.
Earlier, Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Momen said number one objective of Bangladesh is to see the repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
After the yesterday’s donor conference, the UNHCR in a joint statement said the international community has demonstrated its strong commitment to the humanitarian response with the announcement of funding some US$ 600 million for the Rohingyas and host communities.