Bangladesh, Myanmar launch hotline to facilitate Rohingya return

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Dhaka, Aug 11 (IANS) Bangladesh and Myanmar have launched a hotline at the Foreign Ministerial level to facilitate “ease of discussions” for the early repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

A meeting was held between Myanmar Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw on Friday, bdnews24.com reported.

Ali was visiting Myanmar to see the preparations for taking back the Rohingyas. In the meeting, the ministers discussed the implementation of the bilateral agreement — “Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State” — signed in November 2017.

According to the Myanmar side, both parties agreed that there should be early repatriation of displaced persons from Rakhine who recently fled to Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar. “Repatriation will be in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner and in this regard, a hotline was established between the ministers to facilitate ease of discussions,” an official statement said.

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Bangladesh and Myanmar also agreed to intensify cooperation on counter-terrorism and the fight against drug trafficking through exchange of intelligence and enhanced coordinated border patrols.

As agreed in the arrangement, Myanmar has built two reception centres and one transit camp for Rohingyas. Bangladesh has confirmed progress on the five transit camps. One was complete, another under construction and the remaining three to be built.

It was also agreed that any humanitarian aid given to those inhabiting the area on Myanmar’s territory should be given by the aid agencies from Myanmar side.

–IANS

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