Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on 7 March 2019
Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on 7 March 2019Reuters

Bangladesh has urged the European Union (EU) countries to exert more pressure on Myanmar so that it takes Rohingyas back, easing burden on Bangladesh and its economy.

"The situation has become untenable for us,” said foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, reports news agency UNB.

Momen discussed the issue during a recent telephone conversation with Irish deputy prime minister and foreign minister Simon Coveney.

Bangladesh foreign minister said the EU countries should step forward and share the responsibility.

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Momen hoped that if elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Ireland will play a more robust role.

The Irish deputy prime minister assured Ireland’s continued support and active engagement in this regard.

Extraordinary Generosity

“Bangladesh has shown an extraordinary generosity in hosting a huge number of persecuted Rohingyas from Myanmar,” said the Irish deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Bangladesh has played a very significant role in extending temporary shelter to this huge number of Rohingyas, a number almost equivalent to a quarter of the population of Ireland
Ireland foreign minister

He highly lauded Bangladesh’s humane gesture in hosting over 1.1 million persecuted Rohingyas.

“Bangladesh has played a very significant role in extending temporary shelter to this huge number of Rohingyas, a number almost equivalent to a quarter of the population of Ireland,” he added.

While Momen thanked his Irish counterpart for their continued support on Rohingya issue, he expressed deep concern that there was no progress in repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar.

He also requested the Irish government to ease and facilitate visa procedures for Bangladesh nationals

He informed Coveney that till date Myanmar has not taken a single Rohingyas back.

The Irish minister applauded the leadership role of Bangladesh in UN Peacekeeping and expressed willingness to work jointly in this area.

IT & RMG

Momen informed his counterpart about the availability of a huge pool of IT experts (600,000) whose expertise could be used by Ireland.

He also requested the Irish government to ease and facilitate visa procedures for Bangladesh nationals.

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The foreign minister expressed concern that amid COVID-19, many foreign buyers are dishonouring their contracts.

Such irresponsible behaviour by foreign companies is adversely affecting over four million RMG workers in Bangladesh most of whom are women, according to the foreign ministry said.

He requested Irish companies to honour their contract.