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Donald Lu due today
Visa policy, sanction on RAB to be discussed: FM

Staff Reporter:

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said the US visa policy and sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officials will be discussed during the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.
“We will discuss US Visa policy and sanction on RAB individuals during Lu’s visit … We have already discussed the matter of withdrawal or easing those when US Whitehouse and state department officials visit here earlier… so these issues will come up naturally this time,” he said.
The foreign minister made the remarks while responding to a question of a journalist on the upcoming visit of Donald Lu here.
Dr Hasan said the current relations between Bangladesh and the US is very sound and Dhaka will work together whoever visits here from the US administration.
“Whoever visits here… we will work together to advance our (Bangladesh-US) relations,” he said.
Donald Lu arrives in Bangladesh today as part of his tri-nation tour of the region.
He will also visit India and Sri Lanka before coming to Dhaka.
His trip will strengthen bilateral cooperation with each country and demonstrate US support for a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, said the US Department State.
Lu will meet government officials, civil society leaders and others to discuss US-Bangladesh coopera-tion, including addressing the climate crisis and deepening economic ties, said spokesperson at the US Department of State.
Rohingya repatriation Replying to another question, the foreign minister said Dhaka wants to begin Roh-ingya repatriation as Myanmar’s internal conflict cannot be an excuse for delaying the repatriation pro-cess.
However, he said it is true that the current situation in Arakan creates a barrier to repatriation to some extent, but conflict is always there in Myanmar.
“We are always in engagement with Myanmar. We want to see the commencement of repatriation at least,” he said.
The foreign minister said he made the same urge to his Myanmar counterpart at a meeting during his Uganda visit.
Hasan said he found Myanmar foreign minister positive regarding commencing the Rohingya repatria-tion from Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.3 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char while Myanmar did not take back a single Rohingya in last seven years even after making several pledges.

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