Bangladesh has invited China to take "proactive initiatives" so that Myanmar starts the process of repatriation of over 1.1 million Rohingyas displaced from the country.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen made the request to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a message on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Bangladesh temporarily sheltered the Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and majority of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdowns on Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Dr Momen "appreciated China's persistent engagement" in creating conducive environment in Rakhine State of Myanmar for the voluntary return of 1.1 million displaced Myanmar nationals currently sheltered in Bangladesh, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
Repatriation attempts were failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas' "lack of trust" on the Myanmar government.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.
On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on "Physical Arrangement", which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
President Md. Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr Momen exchanged messages of felicitation with their Chinese counterparts – President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said both nations have been strictly following the five principles of peaceful coexistence and cooperation in all areas has borne remarkable fruits.
With a view to inject new impetus into Bangladesh-China Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, Wang Yi expressed strong willingness to continue communication and coordination with his Bangladeshi counterpart while fondly recalling their two telephone conversations this year on cooperation to fight Covid-19 and joint efforts to advance the Belt and Road Initiative.
In his message, Dr Momen said the Bangladesh-China friendship has increased manifolds over the four decades and particularly under the astute leadership of Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina and President Xi Jinping.
He extended sincere gratitude to China for the continued supports in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.