BD asks ASEAN to help end Rohingya crisis
Bangladesh has urged the Southeast Asian regional grouping ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member, to sit together and find a solution to the Rohingya crisis. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the request at the ASEAN Dhaka Committee (ADC)-organised 'ASEAN Flag Raising' ceremony at the embassy of Indonesia on Wednesday in Dhaka. This was followed by the ASEAN Food Festival in commemoration of the ASEAN Day 2018. Head of the missions of the ASEAN member states including High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam Masurai Masri, Ambassador of Indonesia Rina P Soemarno, Ambassador of Myanmar Lwin Oo, Ambassador of Philippines Vicente Vivencio T Bandillo, Ambassador of Thailand Panpimon Suwannapongse, the Consul of Singapore William Chik, the Chargé d'Affaires of the High Commission of Malaysia Idham Zuhri Mohamed Yunus, and Chargé d'Affaires of Vietnam Tran Bao Son were also present. The planning minister said Bangladesh is facing a serious challenge due to the Rohingya crisis as the country has given shelter to over 1 million Myanmar nationals who have fled atrocities in the Rakhine State. "If the problem is prolonged," Kamal said, "It will have lot of impacts. And if we are under threat, even a little bit can go to you."
"All of you sit together and find a solution to it," he said. He also requested ASEAN to make Bangladesh a member as it serves as a bridge between the South Asia and Southeast Asian countries. Kamal said the current government is now focusing its relations with the East rather than the West.
"Our export with the ASEAN countries were only $500 million in 2015. But we imported over $6 billion worth goods and services," he said.
In his speech, the ADC Chairperson, the ambassador of Myanmar, highlighted the importance of the ASEAN Committees in third countries in supporting the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. Ambassador Oo said ASEAN can and will continue to constructively engage in many dimensions with "close friend" Bangladesh.
Delicious cuisines from eight ASEAN countries at the ASEAN Food Festival namely Chicken Rendang, Nasi Bakar, NasiLemak, Vermicelli Soup, Polvoron, Fried Mee Siam, Papaya Salad, and Fresh spring rolls were served at the food festival.