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FM to hold meet with Myanmar FM

A Correspondent:

Chattogram: Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said he is likely to hold a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart on the sidelines of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be held in Uganda.
“I am going to attend NAM summit … I may hold a meeting with Myanmar foreign minister there,” he told reporters at Shah Amanat International airport in Chattogram.
He made the remark while responding to a question on his plan to repatriate 1.4 million Rohingya refu-gees from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
“We have always been trying to resolve the (Rohingya) issue through diplomacy, we are increasing more engagement with them (Myanmar). We firmly believe that diplomatically it can be resolved,” he said.
Mahmud is set to embark on his maiden multilateral tour as the foreign minister to Uganda on January 17 to attend the NAM Summit in Kampala.
Bangladesh wanted to begin repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar last year, initially with around 1,000 displaced Myanmar nationals, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.
The socio-economic, demographic, and environmental cost of sheltering huge number of Rohingyas for such a long time is pushing Bangladesh to the limit, said the foreign ministry.
Since August 25 in 2017, Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.2 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups dubbed it as “genocide”.
In the last nearly six and a half years, not a single Rohingya went back home.
Myanmar agreed to take them back, but repatriation attempts failed twice due to trust deficit among the Rohingyas about their safety and security in Rakhine state.

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