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Rohingya: Bangladesh seeks US sanctions on Myanmar

Bangladeshi foreign minister, who is visiting Washington, says US must play leading role in resolving Rohingya crisis

SM Najmus Sakib   | 27.02.2021
Rohingya: Bangladesh seeks US sanctions on Myanmar

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Urging the US to help resolve the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh has called on the new administration to take steps such as imposing sanctions on Myanmar and appointing a special envoy, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, who is currently in Washington on an official visit, said the US must play a leading role in efforts to create a conducive environment for the safe and dignified return of the Rohingya, read a ministry statement.

In a session on the Rohingya issue at US think tank Newlines Institute on Strategy and Policy, Momen reiterated that the only durable solution is the repatriation of the 1.1 million Rohingya who have taken refuge in Bangladesh since fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State in 2017.

Myanmar has long dragged its feet on taking back the persecuted community and prospects for Rohingya repatriation have grown bleaker since the Feb. 1 military coup.

“Bangladesh looks forward to the US government’s concrete steps and leading role, including the proposal to appoint a special envoy on Rohingya,” he said.

At another event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Momen called for American lawmakers to press the government to take more effective measures, such as imposing economic sanctions and removing Myanmar from the beneficiaries of the US’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

He also reiterated the need for the US to appoint a special envoy who will focus on the Rohingya issue and coordinate efforts for their repatriation.

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