Relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island has been deferred until the visit of a United Nations team to the spot, a top foreign ministry official said on Monday.
"Bangladesh is in discussion with some UN agencies regarding Rohingya relocation. They don't oppose the relocation but they have some technical concerns. And they want to visit Bangladesh to address those concerns," said Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque while briefing diplomatic correspondents.
It may be mentioned that previously, the government had planned to start the relocation process in November this year. "This visit may take place this month and we will start the relocation process after the visit," the foreign secretary added.
Mr Haque said Bangladesh is actively engaged with the OIC initiative to seek justice for Rohingya people who were the victims of atrocities in Myanmar.
"Bangladesh feels that repatriation and justice issues are interlinked. Without addressing the accountability issue, sustainable repatriation is not possible."
"Previously, such repatriation took place but then we saw that Rohingya people fled to Bangladesh again after facing repression in Myanmar. So, the issue of accountability is linked with successful and sustainable repatriation," he explained.
The diplomat said management of Rohingya crisis would shape the future geopolitical discourse for Bangladesh and Bangladesh is very cautious about the success of repatriation.
Responding to a question, he said Bangladesh opted for both bilateral and multilateral negotiations to resolve the Rohingya crisis since the beginning.
About Bangladesh's foreign policy in the changed global scenario, Mr Haque said the country sticks to the policy of friendship to all since the beginning. That is why it expressed its willingness to join both the China-led Belt and Road Initiative and US-led Indo-Pacific alliance.
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