Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sajjad Karim on Thursday called for stopping the European Union (EU) trade preferences for Myanmar and taking up Rohingya case at the United nations (UN).
Speaking during the European Parliament’s September plenary session, Dr Karim called for the South East Asian country’s trade preferences that it currently enjoys with the European Union to be fundamentally reviewed and for the EU to ensure that Myanmar does not go unchecked at United Nations level.
The debate in Strasbourg was on a resolution - co-authored by the British MEP - on the situation in the country and the imprisonment of the two journalists - Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
Dr Karim urged Europe to take the lead in the international community on the situation in Myanmar.
Addressing the Parliament, he said, “For some time now, my delegation has been very hesitant to call for the trade relationship we have with Myanmar to be reviewed, but today following this latest development, we find ourselves in a situation where we can no longer simply say that Myanmar is a country that deserves the trade access we provide to it. There needs to be a fundamental review of that relationship.”
Along with that, of course, Dr Karim said, the UN has provided us with an appropriate report, which is very clear in its findings.
He said as an international community and as a set of institutions, Europe must ensure that it provides its support to the international community, so at a United Nations level, they must do the right thing and ensure the voices that they have at the table there are not allowing Myanmar to go unchecked.
“Our voice must be the loudest at that table,” Dr Karim said.
For the past 12 years, Dr Karim has been one of the most active Members of the European Parliament in raising the issue of Rohingya Muslims, including through various resolutions, parliamentary questions and has previously appealed for the European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, to review Aung San Suu Kyi’s award back in September 2017.
He has also written to Representative Mogherini asking what steps the European Commission intends to take to help the Rohingya and made calls for them to be given official Myanmar citizenship once the crisis has been resolved, according to a message received from his office.