Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has sought South Korea's “extra initiative” and a “pro-active” action for expediting Rohingya repatriation, noting that they have some leverages on Myanmar.
“This would be a real achievement if you can help us in repatriation of these Rohingya people to their homeland,” he said while addressing a seminar on Bangladesh-South Korea relations at the Foreign Service Academy.
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun and Bangladesh Ambassador to South Korea Delwar Hossain joined as special guests at the seminar titled "50 Years of Korea-Bangladesh Relations: Trends and Directions" chaired by Dhaka University Prof Dr Delwar Hossain.
Momen said South Korea, one of the largest investors in Myanmar, maintains a very good relationship with the ASEAN nation.
He requested the South Korean government to take an “extra initiative” and a “pro-active” action so that the displaced Rohingya people can return to their homes in Myanmar. “You have some leverages on Myanmar and therefore I request you to use that leverage.”
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar camps and Bhasan Char on humanitarian grounds.
“Myanmar is our neighbour, they are not our enemy,” Momen said, adding that they have a history of persecuting their people (Rohingyas) and forcing them out of their country.
In the past, repatriation of the Rohingyas took place on a number of occasions through dialogue and discussion, he said.
“This time the number is too high. I hope with your (South Korea) support they will take back their people because you are a good friend of Myanmar,” said the foreign minister.
He also thanked the South Korean government for the humanitarian support for the displaced people from Myanmar now temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh.
On the bilateral front, Bangladesh and South Korea vowed to work together for a better and promising future making the best use of the opportunities that the two countries offer.
The two countries want to collaborate more than before amid emerging global challenges as 50 years of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and South Korea will officially be celebrated next year.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the East Asia Study Center of the University of Dhaka jointly organized the seminar.