May 17 (UNB) – Bangladesh will extend its all-out support to Gambia as it is
playing the lead role in taking the Rohingya issue to the International Court
of Justice (ICJ) for establishing the legal rights of Rohingyas and addressing
the question of accountability and justice.
“We’ll provide whatever support they need. We believe, justice should prevail and no one should be given impunity,” Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen told reporters at state guesthouse Meghna on Friday.
He said there has been much repression on Rohingya people, and Gambia is working to ensure the accountability for those who are responsible. “Anybody involved in criminal activities should be punished.”
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.2 million Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar district and majority of them have come since August 25, 2017.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr. Momen had a meeting with Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad Dr. Mamadou Tangara and discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.
In a major diplomatic breakthrough in March, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) unanimously adopted a resolution to move the ICJ for establishing the legal rights of Rohingyas.
The resolution to pursue a legal recourse through the ICJ came after a long series of negotiations to seek accountability for crimes committed against humanity and gross violation of human rights in the case of then Rohingyas in Myanmar. Gambia led the process with a ten-member high-powered ministerial committee.
Foreign Minister Dr. Momen said they will further be discussing the Rohingya issue in the next OIC Summit in Saudi Arabia.
“We’ll work together in a collaborated way…,” he said thanking those who have so far extended support to Bangladesh in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
Gambian Foreign Minister Tangara said they are committed and ready to work very closely with Bangladesh to find a solution to Rohingya crisis.
On bilateral front, he also assured that they will continue this collaboration. “We’re looking for a very fruitful cooperation between Bangladesh and Gambia.”
Terming Tangara a young and very dynamic leader, Dr. Momen said Bangladesh wants to expand its trade and investment ties in the coming days.
Gambia has adequate lands with lower number of population where Bangladesh is looking for exporting pharmaceutical products. “We both have committed that we would help our countries prosper, we will work together. We’ve been supportive to each other,” said Dr. Momen.
The Gambian Foreign Minister said there are lots of opportunities that the two countries can tap together.
He said Bangladesh did extremely well in the past. “Your resilience and commitment to some of the very noble causes in the international fora deserve respect.”
The Gambian delegation also comprises the High Commissioner of Gambia in New Delhi and other high officials of the Gambian government.
At the outset of the meeting, Dr. Momen briefed the Gambian Foreign minister about the gravity of the crisis that Bangladesh is facing with the displaced Rohingyas.
He urged for the necessity of creation of conducive environment for the return of the Rohingya people to their homeland with the guarantee of safety and security.
Dr. Momen said the accountability on the Rohingya issue must be determined and Bangladesh will support all the OIC initiatives in this respect.
He informed the delegation that Bangladesh is among the most rapidly growing economies in the world and it is expected that the economic growth will exceed 8 percent in the next fiscal year.
The Bangladesh Foreign minister suggested the Gambian Foreign minister to establish South-South-North Triangular cooperation among developing countries like Bangladesh and The Gambia.
He mentioned that Gambian investors may invest in Bangladesh and there may be cooperation in energy, agro-processing and SME sectors.
The Foreign minister said Gambia may import RMG, pharmaceutical, ships and boats from Bangladesh.
A protocol on bilateral Consultations between Foreign ministries of Bangladesh and The Gambia was signed by the two Foreign ministers after the meeting.