India calls for speedy return of Rohingyas to Myanmar

India calls for speedy return of Rohingyas to Myanmar

The UN Security Council called on Myanmar to speed up efforts to ensure the safe return of the Rohingya and to hold accountable perpetrators of attacks against the Muslim minority.

India has had to walk a fine balance between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue, as the two neighbours have continued to be at loggerheads over the fate of thousands of refugees.

During the visit, Sushma met Myanmar President Win Myint and State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi.

India does not use the phrase Rohingya in official documents, parleying to Myanmar's sensitivity over this term.

They also visited the Rakhine state and observed the situation, including widespread destruction of villages, as well as reception centres and transit camps under preparation by the government of Myanmar.

Since August past year, almost 700,000 minority Muslim Rohingyas have fled violence in Myanmar across the border into Bangaldesh's Cox's Bazar, joining several hundred thousand more that were already settled there in overcrowded camps.

The discussions are expected to review progress made on decisions taken during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Myanmar in September 2017 with a view to further reinforcing bilateral ties.

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Ms. Swaraj welcomed the Myanmar government's commitment to implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission's recommendations.

The first major project is the construction of prefabricated housing in Rakhine State to meet the needs of displaced persons.

Bangladesh, in recent months, has repeatedly urged India to intervene and pressure Myanmar to take back its citizens who are living in hard circumstances on Bangladeshi territory.

The Security Council urged Myanmar to "step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State and to address the root causes of the crisis".

Seven agreements/MOUs were signed during the visit.

The agreement is a landmark in bilateral relations between the two countries as it will enable people from both countries to cross the land border with passports and visas, including for accessing health and education services, pilgrimage and tourism, said the Indian ministry yesterday.

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