PM for quick Rohingya repatriation

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PV Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid stress again on quick repatriation of Myanmar nationals from Bangladesh to end the protracted Rohingya crisis.

“We want quick start of the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingya people who took shelter in Bangladesh,” she told newly-appointed Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Rene Holenstein who paid a courtesy call on the PM at her office here this morning.

After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

He said the prime minister and Swiss envoy discussed issues relating to bilateral interests, particularly economic cooperation and the upcoming visit of the Swiss president to Bangladesh.

The press secretary said the Rohingya issue also came up for discussion.

Welcoming the ambassador, the prime minister said she is looking forward to meeting with the Swiss president.

While elaborating her government’s successes in various sectors, Sheikh Hasina said: “Our focus on development is rural areas and rural people.”

About Bangladesh’s socioeconomic progress, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been able to bring down inflation to single digit from the double digit.

The prime minister said the Father of the Nation liked Switzerland very much and after liberation, he wanted to make Bangladesh the Switzerland of the East.

During the meeting, the Swiss ambassador said managing so many Rohingya people is a “challenging task” and mentioned that his country wants safe and peaceful situation in Rakhaine state after repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.

In this connection, Rene Holenstein mentioned that the Swiss President will visit Bangladesh to express his solidarity with Bangladesh on the issue.

“The visit of our President will create new opportunities for boosting cooperation between the two countries, particularly on private sector investment and agriculture,” he said.

Pointing out the increase of Swiss investment in Bangladesh in the recent past, Rene Holenstein appreciated the government of Sheikh Hasina for ensuring security of the investment.

The new envoy also handed over a copy of a letter which Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had sent to the then Swiss President on Sept 26 in 1972 expressing gratitude for the Swiss government’s hospitality during Bangabandhu’s medical treatment there.

PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present on the occasion.