Australia to provide $235m for Rohingya repatriation

Abu Sufian

Australia will provide around $235 million to Bangladesh for dignified return of more than one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their motherland in Myanmar.

The commitment came when outgoing Australian High Commissioner in Dhaka Jeremy Buer made a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Ganabhaban residence on Sunday morning.

During the meeting, they discussed matters of bilateral interest, Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters, quoting the premier as saying, during his briefing after the meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that democratic process in Bangladesh has been continuing since 2008, but the country was under military rule for a long time.

Covid-19 pandemic was a big challenge for Bangladesh and it has been managed efficiently, she said. Sheikh Hasina also said that

Bangladesh has taken its own initiative for disaster management to cope with climate change impacts. She mentioned that the government has strengthened social safety net programme in the country.

The Australian envoy wished all the best to the Prime Minister for the 12th national parliamentary elections. He appreciated Bangladesh’s success in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,

and stressed people-to-people cooperation between the two countries. Expressing satisfaction at the trade relations between the two countries, Jeremy Buer also put emphasis on further cooperation on energy and climate change sectors.

Mentioning that Bangladeshi diaspora in Australia is doing well, he said that both the countries could establish cooperation in defence sector.

About the Rohingya issue, the envoy reiterated his country’s support to Bangladesh for dignified return of more than one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar, saying his country would give some $ 235 million for them.

He expressed that the democratic process would continue in Bangladesh. Besides, the envoy said that if Bangladesh Cricket Board wants, Australia will cooperate in its infrastructural development and training facilities.

Ambassador-at-Large M Ziauddin and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present.

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