Rohingya crisis receives prominence in 9th D-8 Summit in Istanbul
The member states gave the assurance at the 9th D-8 Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday (Friday) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Chair, according to a message received here late last night.
The D-8 (grouping of eight developing nations) member states termed the exodus of Rohingya people fleeing Rakhine state of Myanmar as an ethnic cleansing and emphasized on smooth repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in their homes with ensuring their rights.
President Erdogan thanked Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for opening hearts and borders for the forcibly displaced Rohingyas, and commendable role and efforts for a solution to the problem.
He spoke passionately on the Rohingya issue at least three times, and every time deeply appreciated Bangladesh’s admirable role and initiative to shelter them.
Stressing the need for political stability in Myanmar, the Turkish President assured of its maximum support for the Rohingyas and their host Bangladesh, particularly in OIC and UN.
He called upon all to share the huge burden of Bangladesh and expressed interest in building shelters for Rohingyas along with establishment of field hospitals and health camps.
The Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of Malaysia recalled his recent visit to Bangladesh and stressed on further mobilizing international support to address the crisis.
Among others, the First Vice President of Iran also acclaimed the humane approach of Bangladesh and reassured of their support.
The D-8 leaders however, laid emphasis on the implementation of Kofi Anan Commission Report on Rohingyas for resolving the crisis.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam led a six-member Bangladesh delegation to the D-8 Summit.
In his statement, the state minister appreciated the D-8 members’ active support in regard to the Rohingyas under existing crisis.
He briefed the D-8 members on Bangladesh’s “open door policy” towards the dispossessed Rohingyas and emphasized on the five point formula presented by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the last UNGA for bringing a lasting solution.
Thanking the D-8 members, he sought their continued support for an action oriented UN Security Council resolution to bring an early resolution of the crisis.
The 9th D-8 Summit was held on the theme of “Expanding Opportunities through Cooperation”.
Pointing out slow progress of the Organisation of the eight most populous Muslim countries of one billion people, Shahriar Alam stressed the need for D-8 to enter a new phase of concrete initiatives and projects to bring tangible outcome through intensified economic cooperation by using synergies and complementarities of D-8 economies.
He stressed on trade and investment cooperation and called for full implementation of D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with deeper concessions on a wide basket of tradable products which Bangladesh was going to join.
The Summit adopted two outcome documents- D-8 Istanbul Declaration 2017, and the D-8 Istanbul Plan of Action 2017.
The Bangladesh state minister believed that the two documents would set the stage for future course of action with predictable D-8 policies, practicable plans and result based projects.
He gave two TV and radio interviews wherein he briefed the Anadolu Agency and TRT World on the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh’s development course under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh-Turkey relations, and D-8 cooperation and prospects.
The meeting was attended by President of Turkey, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Guinea, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Vice President of Indonesia, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, First Vice President of Iran, and Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt along with the foreign ministers of most of the member states.
The Summit closed with a lunch hosted by Turkish President Erdogan in an Ottoman Palace.