Momen leaves for Turkey Sunday, bilateral talks on Sept 15

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will leave Dhaka for Turkey on Sunday on a four-day visit for holding a bilateral meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on September 15.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the newly built Bangladesh chancery complex in Turkish capital Ankara while Momen along with the Turkish foreign minister are expected to be present at the complex on September 14.

“Rohingya crisis, D-8 summit and trade cooperation between Bangladesh and Turkey will be highlighted in the meeting (with Turkish foreign minister in Ankara on Sept 15),” Momen informed journalist on Saturday (today), reports BSS.

Apart from joining chancery complex inauguration ceremony and holding the bilateral meeting, Momen is also likely to call on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and scheduled to hold meetings with local business delegations and President of Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF).

“Turkey has been very supportive to Bangladesh in resolving the Rohingya issue,” Momen said, adding that Ankara has already assured Dhaka that they would raise the Rohingya repatriation issue at the next United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting.

Since August 25 in 2017, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups dubbed as “genocide”.

In the last three years, not a single Rohingya went back home although Myanmar had agreed to take them back.

During the meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Momen said, he would also talk about issues related to hosting D-8 summit in Dhaka tentatively in January and February next depends on the COVID-19 pandemic condition.

“If the situation won’t improve, we have to do it (summit) virtually … though we would like to host the summit physically in Dhaka,” he said.

Bangladesh will take over as the next Chair of the D-8 through Dhaka Summit that was supposed to be held in May this year but delayed due to the pandemic.

Currently, Turkey chairs the D-8, Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, that also comprised seven other countries – Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan.

Dhaka also expected Turkish backing so that Bangladesh can avail support from the seven trillion dollars fund, created by G-20 for the least developed countries (LDCs).

The foreign minister will return home on September 16.