Dhaka to London: Exert pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation

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Transparency, accountability in the process of disbursement of aid is very critical, says, foreign minister 

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abul Momen on Tuesday called on the UK to exert more pressure on Myanmar for solving the Rohingya crisis urgently by sustainable repatriation.

He made this call during the videoconference with UK DFID Secretary of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Dr Momen expressed his sympathy for the severity of Covid-19 in the UK, and briefed Trevelyan on the steps taken by Bangladesh to contain the deadly virus, reports UNB.

He briefed Secretary of State for DFID about the economic and social impact of coronavirus in Bangladesh, including the challenge of job loss by a significant number of Bangladeshi migrant workers abroad, particularly in the Middle East. 

Dr Momen requested the support of the UK in overcoming this difficulty. 

Foreign Minister Momen flagged that Myanmar has not done anything to date for the repatriation of Rohingyas. 

He insisted that until the international community exerts more pressure on Myanmar, including by putting trade and investment moratorium, the Rohingya crisis will not be resolved.

While thanking DFID as a longstanding development partner of Bangladesh, Dr Momen pointed out that transparency, accountability, and aid effectiveness regarding disbursement of aid are critical.

He requested the UK to keep the government of Bangladesh informed of the different development programs, modes of distribution, and modalities of development activities carried out by DFID in Bangladesh. 

DFID Secretary Trevelyan assured Foreign Minister Momen of following transparent mechanism in this regard. 

Trade, climate issues 

They also discussed the issue of climate change and committed to working together for addressing the global challenge. 

Dr Momen informed Trevelyan about the Climate Vulnerable Forum, where Bangladesh is the chair now, and suggested that the UK could help Bangladesh to strengthen the Forum. 

Foreign Minister Momen also raised the issue of RMG export to the UK is severely affected during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

He flagged that even now, close to $300 million worth of confirmed orders have been cancelled by different British brands and retailers. 

Dr Momen requested for the support of the government of the UK to solve this problem of defaulting on confirmed orders by UK companies. 

He suggested that a Covid-19 recovery fund could be created to address this particular issue

Dr Momen also briefed Trevelyan about the trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh. 

He flagged the advantages of investing in Bangladesh and suggested that the UK, a major investor in Bangladesh, could further diversify its investment here. 

Foreign Minister Momen also suggested that the UK could invest in skill development in Bangladesh for sectors that would be beneficial both for Bangladesh and the UK. 

They also discussed the possibility of strengthening the Commonwealth. 

It was agreed that the two countries would explore the ways to take the Commonwealth to new levels. 

Dr Momen and Trevelyan also agreed to meet once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

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