Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh has requested France to take the Rohingya issue to the UN Security Council as the country is a permanent member of the council.
The request was made during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s talks with the top leaders of France, he said while briefing reporters here on Wednesday, reports BSS.
France has assured that they would remain beside Bangladesh until the permanent solution of the Rohingya crisis.
“We will seriously remain beside you (Bangladesh) until the crisis (Rohingya) reaches a permanent solution,” Momen quoted the French side as telling Sheikh Hasina during her talks with high-profile leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and French Prime Minister Jean Castex.
The Prime Minister is here on a five-day state visit at the invitation of the French President.
Momen said the Rohingya issue became prominent during the Prime Minister’s meetings with all French leaders, especially the President.
The foreign minister said the French leaders were informed that Bangladesh was trying through various angles to solve the matter.
“We have been trying bilaterally, trilaterally and multilaterally. . . Even we went to the international criminal court (ICC),” he said.
He stated that the problem was created by Myanmar and the solution also lies with them.
Regarding the issue of the recent military coup in Myanmar, he said, Bangladesh did not have any direct discussion with the military rulers of Myanmar after the recent military coup.
“We told them (France leaders) that Western world is continuing their business with them (Myanmar), but they have to stop it to create pressure on them,” Momen said.
France questioned whether this would be possible to advance the dialogue for the repatriation process during the military government, he said.
“We told them that there were military governments in Myanmar in the 70s and 90s. But during that time they repatriated the Rohingyas,” he added.
In this connection, the foreign minister said that in 1992 some 253,000 Rohingyas came to Bangladesh and of them 236,000 went back through dialogue and discussion, and the same thing happened in the 1970s.
“We told them (France) that in the last four years there were no conflicts in Rakhaine state. There is no violence in there. So, it is the right time,” he added.
He said Bangladesh informed the French top level leaders that Bangladesh has good relations with its neighbours.
“They said they will provide guaranteed safety and security. They also agreed to create a conducive environment for their dignified return. But they are not implementing anything…We told our tales of sorrows,” he said.
The foreign minister said the French leaders asked Bangladesh whether it told ASEAN about the matter.
“We replied – ‘Of course, we have told ASEAN. They (France) said that they have talked with ASEAN. They asked ASEAN to take strong steps,” he said.
The Bangladesh side said that the ASEAN is slow and it cannot say anything on internal issues of any member country, Momen said.
“It was a long discussion (with French leaders on the Rohingya issue),” he added.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh told the French leaders to take the issue to the security council.
PM’s Press secretary Ihsanul Karim, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin and Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md. Mokammel Hossain, among others, were present.