Rohingya crisis: Asean team to visit Rakhine, Cox’s Bazar ‘soon’

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Staff Reporter:

Indonesia on Friday informed Bangladesh that a comprehensive response team of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will soon visit Rakhine State and Cox’s Bazar to prepare a comprehensive need assessment.

Dhaka and Jakarta agreed to enhance the role of Asean in repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, currently in Jakarta, had a “fruitful” meeting with Foreign Minister Rento Marsudi. They discussed the Rohingya crisis, among others issues of mutual interest.

Alam briefed Marsudi about the outcome of latest Joint Working Group Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw.

Earlier, Bangladesh floated the idea that Myanmar could agree to creating a safe zone under the direct supervision of Asean to ensure safety and security of Rohingyas, to have them return voluntarily.

State Minister Alam is leading a four-member delegation to Jakarta to garner Indonesian support in an initiative called South and South East Asian Cooperation (SEACO).

He handed over a formal letter of invitation to Marsudi for attending the upcoming conference in Dhaka.

Bangladesh has taken the initiative to host SEACO’s launching conference in Dhaka towards the end of June 2019 with expected participation of foreign ministers along with public and private stakeholders.

It is a private sector and track-II level Forum of five OIC countries in the region – Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Maldives – aiming to advance regional economic integration.

The Forum is going to function in the model of World Islamic Economic Forum exclusively with the agenda of economic cooperation among the member countries and their neighbourhoods.

The Bangladesh delegation also met Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board.

Alam’s delegation included Bangladesh High Commissioner to Indonesia Major General Azmal Kabir, Dr Shammi Ahmed, international affairs secretary of Awami League, Executive Chairman of SEACO Foundation Bangladesh Salauddin K Khan, adviser Dr Abdul Mazid and other officials of the ministry and Bangladesh High Commission.unb

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