Monday, January 21, 2019

Canada FM Freeland coming to Bangladesh to meet Rohingyas, address OIC meeting

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2018-04-27 03:13:46 BdST

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland makes opening remarks at foreign ministers meetings from G7 countries in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 22, 2018. Reuters

Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will visit Bangladesh from May 3 to 6 to address the 45th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers and meet Rohingya refugees. 

This will be the first time a non-member minister addresses the session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers, the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The participating foreign ministers will convene to discuss issues such as economic collaboration, Islamophobia, and humanitarian crises and conflicts, including the Rohingya crisis, it said.

The statement said Canada “as a leader” in the international response to the Rohingya crisis continues to work to address the human tragedy unfolding in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and Bangladesh.

During her visit, Minister Freeland will be accompanied by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, and Canada’s Special Envoy to the OIC Ambassador Masud Husain.

They will visit the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar to witness the devastating consequences of the Rohingya crisis and gain a deeper understanding of the needs of those affected.

Minister Freeland will also meet with officials of Bangladesh government to discuss further steps to address this dire situation.

The statement quoted Freeland as saying, “Canada deeply values its relationships with the diversity of countries and people represented in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

“We are eager to discuss how we can take action with OIC partners to support the Rohingya, who faced unspeakable persecution and who have been the victims of crimes against humanity.

“Along with international partners, we will work to establish a clear pathway towards accountability for the atrocities and human rights violations committed in Rakhine State and coordinate efforts to build lasting peace in Myanmar,” she added.

More than 700,000 Rohingyas have joined around 400,000 refugees in Bangladesh since Aug 25 last year when Myanmar launched a crackdown described by the UN and Western nations as ‘ethnic cleansing’.