EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said “We encourage both Bangladesh and Myanmar to work bilaterally [on] this issue with the support of the EU and with the international community.”
She also expressed a desire to see an end to the violence and flow of refugees as well as guaranteed full humanitarian access to Rakhine State and the safe, sustainable repatriation of refugees.
The ASEM summit brings together representatives from 51 Asian and European countries plus the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The biennial summit meeting and foreign ministers’ meeting are held alternately in Asia and Europe.
Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Affairs Minister Aung San Suu Kyi today said, she hopes that talks with Bangladesh this week will result in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh in the past three months.
Speaking to media at the end of a meeting of senior officials at an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw, she said discussions would be held with the Bangladesh foreign minister tomorrow and day after.
Suu Kyi said she hope that talks would result in an MOU signed quickly, which would enable to start the safe and voluntarily return of all of those who have gone across the border.
She said Myanmar would follow the framework of an agreement reached in the 1990s to cover the earlier repatriation of Rohingya, who had fled to Bangladesh to escape previous bouts of ethnic violence.
European foreign ministers are set to press the government of Myanmar on its handling of the Rohingya crisis at a biennial meeting with their Asian counterparts opening in Naypyitaw on Monday.
The Asia-Europe Meeting of foreign ministers takes place as the host country increasingly comes under fire for the alleged persecution of the Muslim Rohingya by its security forces.