বুধবার, ২৩ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০২০, ০৮:৩৯ পূর্বাহ্ন


Foreign Minister attends the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum

the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum

Dhaka:  The 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held virtually on today. The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A K Abdul Momen led Bangladesh delegation to the 27th ARF Meeting. The Director General (Regional Organizations) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka facilitated the Participation of the Foreign Minister in the Meeting virtually hosted by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the current Chair of the ARF.

            Mentioning Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the greatest Bengali of all times, the Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen told the forum that the year 2020 marked the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He aptly eulogized the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her wise and timely decision to virtually organize the events of significant socio-cultural and developmental importance, planned for observing the year, which helped contain the further spread of the Covid-19. The Foreign Minister expressed his previous apprehension about the possible deadly effect of Covid-19 on 1.1 million Rohingyas, the displaced people of Myanmar, who actually got minimally affected, he told, due to multiple targeted initiatives.

            The Foreign Minister categorically conveyed, “Despite the threat to our economy, ecology, and overall societal impact, Bangladesh gave shelter, on a humanitarian ground, to nearly 1.1 million persecuted people fleeing massacre in Myanmar, their homeland. Bangladesh is keen on solving the crisis through constructive diplomacy with good neighbourly spirit. Myanmar is our friendly country and therefore, Bangladesh signed three instruments with Myanmar for repatriation. Myanmar agreed to take back them after verification. They also agreed to create a conducive environment for their voluntary repatriation and they agreed to ensure safety and security of the displaced people. But unfortunately till today, none went back and instead of creating conducive environment, fighting and shelling is ongoing in the Rakhaine state.

            The Foreign Minister also apprised that Bangladesh suggested Myanmar to engage non-millitary civilian observers from their friendly countries like countries from ASEAN, China, Russia, India or other friends of their choice, which may reduce trust deficit among the Rohingyas, necessary for a sustainable return of them to Myanmar.

            Highlighting the significance of the ‘Digital Bangladesh-Vision 2021’ pioneered and advanced by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and its inextricable link to the notion of ‘Digital Economy’, the Foreign Minister pointed out that financial inclusion is being substantially reinforced by the rapidly increasing use of mobile banking in Bangladesh.

            The Foreign Minister appreciated the role of ARF by telling that challenges like terrorism, climate change, irregular movement of people, transnational crimes can only be adequately and effectively addressed through mutual trust and cooperation underpinned by multilateral arrangements like ARF. He assured the Forum of Bangladesh’s faith and support to the ARF initiatives.

            During the 27th ARF Meeting, ARF Member States including Australlia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Newzealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, USA and the European Union insited on solving Rohingya issue as soon as possible. They urged upon safe, sustainable, dignified repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland.

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