‘OIC favours interfaith dialogue to resolve Rohingya issue’

Visiting Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen has suggested holding an interfaith dialogue between Bangladesh’s Muslim religious leaders and Myanmar’s Buddhist religious leaders to resolve the Rohingya problem, UNB reports.

“The dialogue will help develop a better understanding among them (leaders) and resolve the Rohingya problem,” Dr Yousef said on Thursday when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in the morning.

After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

The OIC Secretary General thanked Bangladesh for giving shelter to Rohingya refugees and told the Prime Minister, ‘You’re very generous’.

Sheikh Hasina said the problem, in fact, started in 1991 and now there are some four lakh undocumented Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. “We’re pursuing Myanmar to take back their nationals as I can’t throw them out,” she added.

Hasina said her government has already earmarked an island to give temporary shelter to the Rohingya refugees so that they could live in a better condition.

In response, the OIC Secretary General appreciated the move saying, “It’s a brilliant idea.”

The Prime Minister said the border guards of both Bangladesh and Myanmar are also having talks between them and they have developed good relations.

Dr Yousef also strongly denounced the twin menace of terrorism and extremism, and said Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance.

Hasina said her government has adopted a ‘zero-tolerance’ stance to this end and involved cross-section of people to neutralise it.

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