NATIONAL

Bangladesh seeks to synergise ties with India

Syed Muazzem Ali  

Bangladesh on Tuesday said the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wishes to continue cooperation with the re-elected Modi government and urged for dignified return of the Rohingya refugees from camps in Chittagong to Myanmar. The statement from High Commissioner of Bangladesh Syed Muazzem Ali came a day after Ms. Hasina began her outreach to China seeking Beijing’s support to resolve the Rohingya issue.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Rohtak, Syed Muazzem Ali called for bilateral synergy and closer cooperation between Dhaka and New Delhi. He reiterated Dhaka’s demand for bringing international pressure on Myanmar to end the Rohingya crisis and said, “What we are working on is the early, safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingyas to their home in Myanmar.”

The comments are the first since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge in May. Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid participated in the swearing-in of the Modi government.

Ms. Hasina, who did not participate, congratulated Mr. Modi on phone and both the leaders had agreed to identify dates for a meeting at the earliest.

Mr. Modi is soon expected to travel to various South Asian capitals. He visited Maldives and Sri Lanka in June and reports suggest that he will travel to Bhutan in the coming weeks, though the exact date is yet to be announced. Diplomatic sources pointed out that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met the Bangladeshi envoy.

Outreach to China

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s five-day visit to China that began on Monday is aimed at seeking Beijing’s assurances to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Dhaka and Beijing are expected to sign energy deals that are connected to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).