Sunday, November 17, 2019

Awami League seeks global ‘partnership’ for Bangladesh’s development, Rohingya solution

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-11-07 21:12:58 BdST

The Awami League has sought “partnership” from friendly countries for overcoming the challenges of Bangladesh’s development and resolving the Rohingya crisis.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, on behalf of the ruling party briefed Dhaka-based foreign diplomats on the contemporary and political issues of Bangladesh, on Thursday. He said without “partnership and collaboration it’ll be difficult to achieve the goals because challenges are daunting.”

The international affairs sub-committee of Awami League organised the briefing at a Dhaka hotel.

Road Transport Minister and party General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Education Minister and party Joint Secretary General Dipu Moni, and Chairman of the sub-committee Muhammad Zamir also interacted with the diplomats at the event moderated by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Shah Ali Farhad.

They answered the diplomats in a closed-door session.

The foreign minister, at the opening briefing, highlighted Bangladesh’s progress in the last 10 years, particularly in poverty reduction.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a few goals to make Bangladesh poverty free, prosperous and a developed country by 2041. “We need your help and support to achieve those goals," he told the diplomats.

“The way we are moving I have no reason not to believe that we will achieve the goals. But that will need a lot of investment and more exports. We need to diversify our exports. We need to use our best resource - manpower,” Momen said.

“We need to gainfully employ our manpower. These are no easy task. These are challenges and for that our own resources are not enough.

“We would be needing help from our partners. We would like to have a close partnership with our friendly countries. We like to have a close partnership with the government and the business sector.”

The minister sought their support for addressing the challenges of climate change and to ensure gainful employment of the large number of youths.

He also sought their cooperation in observing the ‘Mujib year’ from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021, the 100th birth anniversary of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“We will have a big event on March 17. We have invited dignitaries from across the globe. Many have already confirmed their attendance. We need your help and support so that some of the dignitaries can come and share their observations with us.”

SUPPORT FOR ROHINGYAS

The foreign minister also solicited the support of the international community for resolving the Rohingya crisis.

“We are giving them temporary shelters. It’s a big burden on us. Our fear is if this problem is not resolved quickly, there is all possibility that pockets of radicalism will rise. Radicals and terrorists know no boundary. They have no faith. They have no country. They can only create uncertainty.

“This problem is created by Myanmar and must be solved by Myanmar,” Monen reiterated.

“Bangladesh is ready to repatriate them. The problem is that they (Rohingya) don’t trust their government,” he said, adding that Bangladesh has made two proposals to Myanmar to address this trust issue, but “Myanmar neither accepted nor rejected those proposals”.

“First we suggested that they allow some of the Rohingya leaders for a site visit so that they can go and visit the place where they will go back to.

“Once they feel reassured, they will tell their people in Cox’s Bazar those stories. Then they others will go back voluntarily,” he said, “We want to send them on a voluntary basis after ensuring their safety and security”.

The other proposal, he said, was to ensure military and civilian observers from the ASEAN countries to monitor the repatriation and reintegration.

The foreign minister also urged the diplomats to put more pressure on Myanmar to quickly resolve the crisis.

“They (Rohingya) are not necessarily Bangladesh’s problem only. They are the problem of the global community,” Momen reminded the foreign diplomats.