By Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan, Dhaka Tribune

‘China also said [to Myanmar] to give them [Rohingyas] cell phones so that they can inform their relatives about the situation’

China has joined Bangladesh to ask Myanmar to take some Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh to Rakhine state for them to see the existing condition, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday.

But, he said that Naypyidaw did not accept the suggestion put forward during the tripartite meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China held in New York recently on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“You know the proposal we put forward to Myanmar. China has also asked Myanmar to take a faction of Rohingyas to Rakhine for them to see the good works done for their return,” Dr Momen said while replying to a question at a press conference organized at the Foreign Ministry on the occasion of the prime minister’s visit to India.

“China also said [to Myanmar] to give them [Rohingyas] cell phones so that they can inform their relatives about the situation,” he said, adding: “Myanmar did not accept [the suggestion].”

To a question regarding China’s voting against a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the minister claimed that Bangladesh has been able to bring China pretty close which is the staunchest ally of Myanmar.

He said that it is the foreign minister of China, who took the initiative to hold the meeting among the three countries.

In the meeting, Dr Momen said, Myanmar agreed that there were mistakes in the National Verification Card (NVC) and that they would make the cards simple.

Once the NVCs are verified the Myanmar government will issue cards to the Rohingyas that will lead to the citizenship, he said, describing it as great achievement for Bangladesh.

The foreign minister also claimed that the role of Russia has also changed for better for Bangladesh.

Responding to another query, he acknowledged that the progress has not yet been visible as not a single Rohingya could be repatriated.

It is the responsibility of Myanmar to create conducive environment for the return of the Rohingyas, he added.