Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader is pinning his hopes on Myanmar Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe’s visit to Bangladesh to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Quader, General Secretary of ruling Awami League, was speaking to reporters after distributing relief among Rohingya refugees and inaugurating a medical centre at a refugee camp in Leda, Cox’s Bazar on Sunday.
Swe, the Minister of the Office of Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto head of the government Aung San Suu Kyi, was scheduled to come to Dhaka later in the night.
“The Myanmar minister will respond within two days,” Quader said.
“He will arrange the repatriation of the Myanmar nationals by bestowing them with citizenship,” he hoped.
He also expressed the hope that the Rohingya crisis will be resolved through diplomatic efforts and discussions.
Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to restoring democracy in Myanmar, is sending the minister of her office to Bangladesh amid international pressure over the Rakhine State crisis in which her government stands accused of ‘ethnic cleansing’.
Despite her party’s win in 2015 elections, the Myanmar Army controls the majority of the government, including the defence authorities.
Over half a million Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh since Aug 25 when a military crackdown began in the northern Rakhine State over alleged terrorist attacks on security outposts.
Bangladesh is already home to another 400,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled decades of persecution in Myanmar.
Swe is scheduled to hold a meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Monday.
Bangladesh has stepped up diplomatic efforts to push Myanmar to take back all the Rohingya refugees.
But China and Russia have not withdrawn support from Myanmar despite pressure from the UN, US, UK and many other countries.
Quader said he expected China and Russia, like India, would pledge support to Bangladesh over Rohingya issue.