Johnson in Bangladesh to meet Rohingyas

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Dhaka, Feb 9 (IANS) British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived here on his maiden Bangladesh visit to take note of the plight of Rohingya refugees ahead of his visit to Myanmar.

Johnson was received by Bangladesh Foreign Ministry’s Secretary Kamrul Ahsan, Director General of the Europe Wing Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khastagir and British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake at the Dhaka airport on Friday afternoon, bdnews24.com reported.

His visit came amid global calls to ensure safe and voluntary return of the Muslim minority Rohingyas to Myanmar. Bangladesh and Myanmar had earlier signed deals to start the repatriation.

The British official was scheduled to meet his Bangladeshi counterpart A.H. Mahmood Ali. Bangladesh officials said they expected an announcement of the lifting the UK’s ban of direct cargo flights from Dhaka at the meeting.

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Johnson will visit Rohingyas refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar district on Saturday. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before flying for Myanmar the same day.

The British government, MPs of the House of Commons, political parties raised a strong voice against the oppression on the Rohingya people by Myanmar military and pursued the issue within the UN Security Council.

At least 688,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state to Bangladesh since the Myanmar military launched an offensive in response to rebel attacks on government outposts on August 25 last year.

–IANS

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