In a significant diplomatic engagement, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud held a pivotal meeting with the European Union Ambassador, Charles Whiteley, emphasizing that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is the only viable solution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This discussion highlights Bangladesh’s continuous efforts to resolve the plight of over 1.5 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas currently sheltered in the country.
Dr. Mahmud expressed his concerns about the diminishing global focus on the Rohingya issue due to other international crises. He underscored the immense burden borne by Bangladesh, a country already grappling with its dense population, in accommodating such a large number of refugees.
Tracing back the roots of the crisis, Dr. Mahmud reminded that Rohingyas were recognized as citizens of Myanmar in the past, with their representation even in the Myanmar cabinet. He firmly advocated for their safe and dignified return to Myanmar with full citizenship rights, reaffirming this as the only sustainable solution to the crisis.
The EU Ambassador, Charles Whiteley, described the meeting as a constructive dialogue, focusing on strengthening the relationship between the EU and Bangladesh. The upcoming negotiations on the Partnership Cooperation Agreement between both entities were highlighted, expected to cover extensive topics and mark a new chapter in EU-Bangladesh relations.
Key issues like the Rohingya crisis, climate change, renewable energy, and global situations in the Middle East and Ukraine were the focal points of discussion. Whiteley expressed appreciation for Dr. Mahmud’s insights, noting his strong connections with Belgium, the seat of the European Union. This meeting is a testament to Bangladesh’s active role on the international stage, particularly in seeking collaborative solutions to global humanitarian challenges.