Hasina woos global support at UNGA over Rohingya issue

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had talks with a number of dignitaries attending the UNGA, including US President Donald Trump, in New York when they assured her that they are with Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue.


The US President has said the USA is with Bangladesh on Rohingya refugee issue and it will see how this problem could be resolved, UNB reports.


“On Myanmar issue (Rohingya issue) we’re with you,” Trump told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the high-level meeting titled ‘Reforming the United Nations: Management, Security, and Development’ hosted by the US President at ESCOS Chamber of the UN Headquarters on Monday.


Sheikh Hasina is now in New York to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).


While briefing reporters, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said Trump also told Hasina that the US will see how the Rohingya refugee problem can be resolved.


This is the first time Trump made any remark on the Rohingya issue and this was also his maiden visit to the UN Headquarters after becoming the US President.


The US President enquired about the economic progress of Bangladesh and Sheikh Hasina in reply said, “Doing well.”


Meanwhile, Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had a brief meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on board the plane while travelling from Abu Dhabi to New York on Sunday and reiterated her country’s stance on Rohingya issue saying, “India is definitely with Bangladesh and they’ll help it (Bangladesh) to resolve the problem.”


Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said the Indian Minister for External Affairs will visit Bangladesh on October 23-24 to attend the India-Bangladesh joint commission meeting.


She apprised the Prime Minister about the upcoming meeting.


Besides, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi expressed his willingness to help Bangladesh on the issue of Myanmar refugee problem.


“He also wanted to visit Bangladesh,” Shahidul Haque said.


The Prime Minister said all the organisations of the UN will help Bangladesh, but the registration of the Rohingya refuges will be done by Bangladesh Army.


Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting at Hotel Grand Hyatt discussed the Rohingya crisis as thousands of Rohingya Muslims are going through untold sufferings.


PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said the Palestine President highly appreciated Sheikh Hasina for her noble gesture to Rohingyas terming the crisis a ‘disaster’.


“Everybody everywhere is appreciating the Bangladesh Prime Minister for her humanitarian gesture,” Ihsanul Karim quoted Mahmoud Abbas as saying.


Sheikh Hasina said some 700,000 Rohingya refugees are now living in Bangladesh under makeshift arrangement. “As a human being, everybody should have a humanitarian quality.”


“But, Myanmar must take back their nationals,” she said mentioning that Bangladesh has asked for mounting international pressure on Myanmar for this.


The Prime Minister informed the Palestine President about the relief works of the government to provide support to the Rohingyas.


Hasina said she knows the pains of a refugee because she and her sister were refugees for long six years after the brutal killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with most of his family members in 1975.


She said the government is registering the Rohingyas for their identification.


Mahmoud Abbas apprised the Prime Minister of the present situation in Palestine and Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s stance to the cause of Palestinian people.


Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were present.


Meanwhile, World’s major countries in a meeting hosted by the British Foreign Secretary (Foreign Minister) in New Yorkon Mondayurged Myanmar to immediately stop atrocities on its Rohingya people and take back its nationals who fled to Bangladesh.


The Foreign Secretary said representatives from the USA, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, China and Denmark as well as National Security Adviser of Myanmar attended the meeting.


Representatives of the world’s major power highly appreciated the way Bangladesh has given shelter and other supports to the Myanmar Rohingya nationals crossing the border to Bangladesh following inhumane torture on them.


In response to the stance of Myanmar’s National Security Adviser who triedto deny the accusation, he said the representatives of the participating countries said they know the reality.


Shahidul Haque said Bangladesh along with 127 countries also signed the US-drafted 10-point political declaration backing efforts by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to initiate effective, meaningful reform of the world body.


The Prime Minister also held a bilateral meeting with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay.


Shahidul Haque said Bhutanese Prime Minister expressed keenness to take support from Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu Satellite to be installed in the orbit later this year as well as to procure bandwidth from Bangladesh to meet its demand.


In response, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh would work out the modalities and consult with neighboring India on Bandwidth issue as it would pass through Indian territory.

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