The Daily Star
July 11, 2013
Repatriation of
Rohingya refugees, among other matters, will dominate the Foreign Office
Consultations (FOC) scheduled for June 14 in Naypyidaw, capital of Myanmar.
Security, trade and
investment, cooperation between the countries’ border guards, connectivity and
import of gas and electricity will also be discussed.
Foreign Secretary
Md Shahidul Haque, who leaves for Myanmar tonight, will lead the Bangladesh
delegation at the 7th FOC, foreign secretary level annual meeting, between
Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Foreign ministry
sources said discussions will cover the entire range of bilateral issues
between the two neighbours, which include resolving all pending issues, pending
visit of the Myanmar president to Bangladesh, direct road link and direct air
services and coastal shipping line, cooperation in energy sector and curbing of
border smuggling.
Among pending
issues, early activation of joint commission and joint trade commission,
cooperation in agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors, training exchange
programmes and prevention of illicit trafficking will also be discussed, said
Officials said with
the reform initiatives in Myanmar, Bangladesh is eager to intensify engagement
with the country to explore trade and investment options.
Major countries,
like the USA, Japan and South Korea are already in Myanmar and Bangladesh being
a neighbour should try to engage with Myanmar by utilising the existing
mechanisms between the two countries, they said.
On Rohingya
refugees, a senior official of the foreign ministry told The Daily Star that
Dhaka will seek solutions to the problem and ask Naypyidaw to take back all
Myanmar refugees as well as undocumented nationals living in Bangladesh.