Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Let 'displaced persons' return : Swaraj

Indian engineering expo kicks off EAM Sushma Swaraj on a 2-day visit to Bangladesh
Jerome Frank | 23 October, 2017, 05:34

The announcement of the line of credit was made during the visit of Prime Minister Hasina to India in April.

She, however, preferred not to use the word "Rohingya" and said "we have urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population".

"He (Modi) told her (Suu Kyi), "you have a very good global 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. "We are both determined to protect our societies from the threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror by adopting a zero tolerance policy and a comprehensive approach in fighting violent extremism and terrorism at all levels".

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".

Swaraj is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.

The visit is expected to afford an opportunity for review of the excellent bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh and further strengthening of these ties.

Almost 6,00,000 minority Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since late August to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state where the Myanmarese army has launched a crackdown against militants.

"It's a big burden for Bangladesh, and how long will Bangladesh bear this?" she said, referring to the exodus of the forcibly displaced people who fled the violence in their homeland and took shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh. The development is also seen as India's attempt to counter increasing Chinese influence in Bangladesh, where Beijing is trying to make inroads in infrastructure ventures.

India has extended three lines of credit amounting to United States dollars 8 billion to Bangladesh so far. External Affairs Minister was greeted by Bangladesh Foreign Minister and the High Commissioner of India Harsh Shringla on her arrival in Dhaka earlier today. Modi's comments upset Bangladesh with Dhaka's envoy in New Delhi conveying his country's concerns to the Indian foreign secretary.

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