Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 12:53 AM IST

Myanmar to start process for Rohingya repatriation from B'desh

Updated: Jan 13, 2017 01:47 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Jan. 13 (ANI): Bangladesh Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmood Ali has said that Myanmar has expressed interest in repatriating 65,000 Rohingya Muslims who entered Bangladesh in the last two months.

"Primarily, Myanmar has expressed its interest in starting the process of verifying their [the Muslims of Myanmar who intruded into Bangladesh] claim regarding their citizenship and permanent residence to repatriate them," the Daily Star quoted the minister as saying.

Ali made the remarks at a press conference following Myanmar's special envoy U Kyaw Tin's meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Ministry officials on Wednesday.

Tin's three-day visit that came at a time when Rohingya influx has become an issue of serious concern for Bangladesh. Illegal presence of a large number of Myanmar citizens has long been affecting the stability and the economic development in Chittagong, especially in Cox's Bazar, Mahmood Ali said.

The fresh influx began in last year's mid October after insurgents, believed to be mostly from the "stateless" Rohingya minority, attacked Myanmar border posts on October 9, killing nine police officers there.

The Myanmar Muslims who fled to Bangladesh alleged that they were tortured by the Myanmar authorities. There are 33,000 registered Rohingya refugees living in Cox's Bazar and another three lakh unregistered ones in the same and adjourning districts.

Ali said Bangladesh requested the speedy repatriation of all the Rohingya Muslims -- registered or unregistered -- and proposed preparing an action plan in this regard.

In response, Myanmar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin U Kyaw Tin said it was important for them to verify the identities of those seeking citizenship.

Bangladesh also proposed formation of a commission to assess the issue of providing citizenship or permanent residence to the Muslims of Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Prime Minister Hasina also told the Myanmar envoy that the country be sincere in solving the problems of the Muslim minorities in Rakhine where they are deprived of their rights, and should stop marginalising them to check extremism. (ANI)

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