Myanmar Minister for International Cooperation Kyaw Tin has said that Myanmar is committed to start the repatriation of Rohingyas under the 2017 agreement with Bangladesh. The Minister pointed out that Myanmar had taken back Rohingyas in 1978 and 1992 on the basis of mutual talks.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Bangladesh yesterday, Myanmar minister said in a letter to the Bangladesh Foreign Minister that Myanmar is committed to resolve all issues of mutual interest peacefully with it.
He expressed the hope that the tripartite meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar and China held on January 19 would help in starting the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar.
Earlier, Bangladesh had expressed ‘cautious optimism’ at the tripartite meeting held between Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.
It had expressed the hope that the repatriation of the forcefully displaced persons from Myanmar will begin in the second quarter of the current year. Bangladesh had urged Myanmar to expedite the process of verification of the biometric data of 8.4 lakh Rohingya refugees submitted by it so that the repatriation process could proceed quickly.
Myanmar and Bangladesh had agreed to a procedural framework for repatriation in November 2017. The agreement stipulated that return would be voluntary and there would be no restriction on the number of Rohingyas who wanted to return to Myanmar.
The agreement said that the returnees would not face any consequences unless they are found to be involved in terrorist activities. Myanmar had also agreed that they would not be settled in temporary places for long periods and the returning Rohingyas will have freedom of movement in the Rakhine state in line with existing laws of the country.
However, two attempts at repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar have failed.