Indian foreign minister in Bangladesh amid Rohingya repatriation crisis
India’s foreign minister arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid efforts to resolve the fate of 81 Rohingya refugees who are on a boat adrift in international waters.
Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart on water sharing, trade and border issues, said two Indian officials in New Delhi.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
“Of course, the Rohingya refugee issue will come up during the Indian minister’s day-long visit but the prime agenda will remain around Modi’s upcoming visit,” said a senior foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Last month, Indian coastguards rescued 81 Rohingya Muslims whose boat was drifting in the Andaman Sea for over two weeks after they left Bangladesh, home to over a million Rohingya refugees from Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Eight people on the boat had already died of dehydration.
The fate of the refugees remains unclear as India, so far, has not allowed their entry into its territory and wants Bangladesh to take them back.
But Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen last week told Reuters that his government expects India, the closest country, or Myanmar, the Rohingyas’ country of origin, to accept the 81 survivors.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were forced to flee their homeland after a crackdown by Myanmar’s military in 2017. Myanmar denies accusations of genocide and says the army was fighting a legitimate counter-insurgency campaign.
Aid agencies are demanding that governments stop passing the buck and pluck the 81 survivors immediately from the Andaman sea.
India has in recent weeks provided two million doses of COVID-19 vaccines shots to Bangladesh and could use that goodwill to press Dhaka to accept the refugees.
Modi is visiting Dhaka as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Bangladesh’s independence later this month.
Read more: Bangladesh under ‘no obligation’ to accept Rohingya refugees: Foreign minister
Bangladesh under ‘no obligation’ to accept Rohingya refugees: Foreign ministerBangladesh is under “no obligation” to shelter 81 Rohingya Muslim refugees adrift for almost two weeks on the Andaman Sea and being assisted by ... World News
India asks Bangladesh to take 81 Rohingya survivors rescued from boat in Andaman SeaIndia’s coast guard found 81 survivors and eight dead on a boat crammed with Muslim Rohingya refugees adrift in the Andaman Sea, and were repairing ... World News
UNHCR appeals for rescue and immediate release of stranded Rohingya refugeesThe United Nations refugee agency on Monday called for the immediate rescue of a group of Rohingya refugees who were adrift in their boat in the ... World News
More Rohingya refugees moved to remote Bangladesh silt islandAnother 3,000 Rohingya refugees have been relocated by Bangladesh to a remote silt island in the Bay of Bengal, officials said on Tuesday, bringing ... World News
Despite coup, Bangladesh expects Myanmar to uphold Rohingya repatriation processBangladesh called for peace and stability in Myanmar after a military coup on Monday, and said it hoped its neighbor make genuine efforts to move ... World News
Bangladesh moves second group of Rohingya refugees to remote islandBangladesh started moving a second group of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a low-lying island in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday, despite opposition from ... World News