Bangladesh-Myanmar form ‘Joint Working Group’

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Pns: In a bid to form the Joint working group for resolving the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh and Myanmar officials sat in a meeting in Dhaka Tuesday (December 19).

Delegations from both the countries sat in a meeting at the state guesthouse Meghna and formed the crucial JWG with 15 members each from Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will lead Bangladesh side in the group while the Myanmar side will be led by Permanent Secretary at Myanmar foreign ministry Myint Thu.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali conveyed the update to the media after the meeting which began at 8:45 am at State guesthouse Meghna and ended at around 12:10 pm.

A Myanmar delegation, led by Permanent Secretary Myint Thu arrived in Dhaka on Monday evening to attend the meeting.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and his Myanmar counterpart Myint Thu led Bangladesh and Myanmar delegations respectively at the meeting.

Representatives from relevant ministries, including Home and Disaster Management, attended the meeting.

Expressing satisfaction over the whole process, Mahmood Ali said that the next step of repatriation process will start soon.

As part of preparation for Tuesday’s meeting, an inter-ministerial meeting was held at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday where the formation of working group and its structure were discussed.

Earlier, Bangladesh conveyed to the United Nations that a joint working group on Rohingya repatriation would soon be formed under the terms and conditions of the bilateral arrangement between Bangladesh and Myanmar signed on November 23.

According to the repatriation deal signed between Dhaka and Naypyitaw on November 23, Myanmar has agreed to take necessary measures to halt the outflow of its residents to Bangladesh, restore normalcy in northern Rakhine and encourage those who had left Myanmar to return voluntarily and safely to their own households and original places of residence or to a safe place of their choice.

The joint working group was supposed to be in place within three weeks of signing the ‘Arrangement’ on return of Rohingyas.

A specific bilateral instrument (physical arrangement) for repatriation will be concluded in a speedy manner, officials said.

The working group will be led jointly by the both countries. It will handle all the facts related to sending back the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar.


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