Dhaka: Sushma Swaraj talks of terror, Rohingya crisis

23 October, 2017, 05:33 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Khaleda Zia Sushma Swaraj

EAM @SushmaSwaraj apprised PM #SheikhHasina of the productive discussions at the JCC and tangible progress made since her visit to India.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday co-chaired the fourth Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali.

"He (Modi) told her (Suu Kyi), "you have a very good worldwide image, don't destroy it", the Bangladesh premier's press secretary Ihsanul Karim told PTI, quoting Swaraj as saying during her meeting with Hasina at her residence.

Swaraj clearly stated that by adopting a "zero tolerance policy", India and Bangladesh are determined to protect our societies from the threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror.

Without naming the Rohingyas, she said it was clear that "normalcy will be restored only with the return of the displaced persons to Rakhine state".

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first ever bilateral visit to Myanmar last month, India too offered to help in the economic development of Rakhine state.

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She did not use the word Rohingya to name those tens of thousands of ethnic minorities who faced "ethnic cleansing" in their homeland and took shelter in Bangladesh, instead she termed them as displaced persons from the Rakhine state. "Towards this end, India continues to exert pressure on Myanmar", the BNP leader said quoting the Indian minister.

She is "expected to meet the Bangladeshi leadership and also interact with the representatives of leading Bangladeshi think-tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organisations", an Indian High Commission statement said.

Almost 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since August 25 to escape persecution that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing.

"India attaches the utmost importance to its relation with Bangladesh as our partnership today touches upon virtually over all the areas of human endeavour", she added.

India has so far extended three lines of credit amounting to $8 billion to Bangladesh, the largest development assistance that India has extended to any country worldwide.

India and Bangladesh today discussed the common challenge of terrorism and resolved to fight the scourge together even as New Delhi reaffirmed its status as a reliable development partner of Dhaka.

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