Thailand says it will continue supporting Bangladesh for swift repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.
Newly-appointed Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Arunrung Phothong Humphreys conveyed this message to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday when she called on the PM at her office.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
Hasina told the envoy that Rohingyas were a big burden for Bangladesh.
“They are citizens of Myanmar [and] they must return to their homeland.”
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. Most of them came here after the Myanmar army launched a brutal offensive on the ethnic minority in August 2017.
Two attempts to repatriate the Rohingyas have failed.
Humphreys said she was committed to take Bangladesh-Thailand bilateral relationship to a new height.
“The 40-year relationship between the two countries is very friendly and cordial,” she said, mentioning that Thailand was interested in working with Bangladesh in trade, industry and energy sectors.
She highly praised Bangladesh’s economic growth, saying it became possible because of the leadership and guidance of the prime minister.
The envoy mentioned that Bangkok University has introduced the Bangabandhu Chair.
Hasina assured the ambassador of providing all out cooperation while discharging her duties in Bangladesh. She expressed deep satisfaction at the present state of bilateral relations between the two countries.
The PM noted that Thailand has developed its agriculture sector, especially the food processing sector, and it could cooperate with Bangladesh in this sector.
“Our aim is to eradicate poverty and ensure the basic needs of the people. The dream of the father of the nation was to build the country in a planned way,” she said
Hasina said the poverty level in Bangladesh has come down to 21.4 percent while the per capita income rose to $1,909.
About the security issue, she said the government adopted “zero tolerance” policy towards terrorism.
Bangladesh gives importance to the South East Asian countries, especially for trade and business, the PM added.