The US has reiterated that it will stand strong on resolving the Rohingya issue, and also holding the perpetrators in Myanmar accountable for committing the crimes of atrocities against Rohingyas.
US Vice President Mike Pence conveyed the US position expressing concern over the violation of basic rights of the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Pence delivered the keynote speech at the second ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State on Thursday, according to a media release issued yesterday.
He expressed happiness with the progress that has been achieved since the last ministerial meeting in 2018.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen attended the meeting.
Delegates from 106 countries with about 40 foreign ministers took part in the meeting at the invitation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo reinforced that ensuring religious freedom for all remains the top foreign policy priority of the US.
He thanked all the governments for their participation and called for collective efforts to ensure the freedom of thoughts, freedom of conscience and religion as reflected in the US constitution.
Momen highlighted the commitment of the Bangladesh government to ensure basic rights of its people.
He mentioned that inspired by the call of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh has been relentlessly working to maintain the religious rights of all communities.
Momen said under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has upheld religious pluralism and rights of minorities.
He elaborated how the government of Hasina maintained a “zero tolerance” approach to any form of violence and discrimination, under any pretext, against religious minorities, and successfully prevented the rise of extremist contents in Bangladesh.
This has resulted in the unprecedented socio-economic growth of its economy, he added.
Besides non-communalism and peaceful coexistence, Hasina also promotes a national slogan, “Religion is personal, festivals are for all”, to encourage religious tolerance and create a sense of accommodation among all communities.
Momen thanked the US government and the international community to extend support to host 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
He called on the international community to increase pressure on Myanmar to take back those people.
He called for the media to play a constructive and responsible role in promoting religious freedom, thereby supporting peace and stability.
The foreign minister reiterated that violence and wars emanated from a mindset of hatred and ignorance.
On the sidelines of the conference, Momen met his counterparts of Iraq, Bahrain, Malta and Hungary.
He also suggested hosting a similar ministerial meeting at regional level in Bangladesh soon.