Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said the Chinese side is yet to come up with any good news on the Rohingya repatriation but they are continuing their efforts to that end.
“He (Chinese envoy) is yet to give any good news,” Momen told reporters after his meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming.
The hour-long meeting was held at the State guesthouse Padma while the Foreign Minister briefed the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Momen said he gave reminder to the Chinese ambassador regarding Bangladesh’s expectations, noting that much time has passed and Dhaka keeps expecting that repatriation will start soon.
Momen said that no date has been fixed for the commencement of Rohingya repatriation.
The current Myanmar government “honours” all the previous agreements signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar and expressed willingness to take back the Rohingyas after verification.
He said the Myanmar side is still saying they will provide safety and security to the Rohingyas and will create a conducive environment.
“Let’s see! From the Myanmar side, there is a lack of willingness,” he said.
Talking about complications, the foreign minister said the Rohingyas mostly entered Bangladesh without any documents as they were persecuted.
Now the Myanmar government is giving emphasis on Myanmar-origin documents, Momen said, adding that, “It’s a big problem.”
Regarding verification, he said though the Myanmar side approved few of the Rohingyas after verification the problem is that they isolated one from another while making the list. “If you take, you need to take the whole family. Otherwise it will not be sustainable if you divide a family.”
Momen said the Myanmar side needs to forgo seeking documents if they really want to take back their nationals.
"My discussion (with the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh) focused on Myanmar and the Rohingya issues. We think China maintains good relations with Myanmar," he said.
Momen said the Chinese side is trying to help find a solution. “They (China) are the facilitator, not the decision maker. We are requesting them again and again.”
Bangladesh, Myanmar and China agreed to work together for starting repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar under a tripartite mechanism.
The idea of a tripartite mechanism among Bangladesh, China and Myanmar came four years ago in New York — to evaluate the situation on the ground and take steps for the early repatriation and there had been few meetings.