Newly arrived Rohingya in Bangladesh at an informal settlement. Photo: Adam Dean for The New York Times

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Foreign Ministers of the 13th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) yesterday called for immediate cessation of hostilities, halting of outflow, early and safe return of externally displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh and implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission for durable solution.

They made the call at an informal briefing on Rakhine issue for the foreign ministers of Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Russia, Luxemburg, France, Thailand, Hungary, Finland, Sweden and the High Representative of the EU in Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw, a press release said, reports BSS.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali is leading a four-member Bangladesh delegation at the two-day 13th ASEM that began yesterday.

At the first day, Bangladesh foreign minister attended two plenary sessions, “Synergizing Peace and Sustainable Development” and “3rd Decade of ASEM: Making ASEM Partnership more Dynamic and connected.”
In his intervention, Mahmood Ali reaffirmed Bangladesh’s firm commitment to peace and development.
He stressed on inclusive development embracing all, particularly minorities, by ensuring rights and equal opportunity for attempting durable peace.

The minister highlighted shared interest in encouraging peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.
Ali emphasized that marginalization and denial of basic rights create insecurities, which can lead to forced displacement and destabilize the region.
Calling for working together to promote inclusion and tolerance for peace and development, he cautioned against resurgent nationalism and use of prejudices and exaggerated imaginary threat perceptions.
He urged ASEM to focus more on connectivity of ideas and culture to reduce tensions among countries and region while focusing trade and physical connectivity.
In the sideliners of the event, the foreign minister held bilateral meetings with his counterparts of Switzerland, Hungary, Estonia, Finland and the United Kingdom.
They discussed bilateral matters and exchanged views on Rohingya crisis particularly early return of displaced Rohingyas and imperative of an inclusive and durable solution of the protracted problem.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister sought constant engagement and support from them.
Bedsides, Bangladesh and Hungarian foreign ministers signed a MoU on Educational Cooperation between the two countries for the years of 2018-20.
Under the MoU, Hungary has offered 100 scholarships every year for study in the fields of agriculture, economics, natural science and medical and healthcare.
The Hungarian Minister also offered training assistance in the field of nuclear energy.