Rohingya influx from Myanmar one of the gravest ethno-religious cleansing of recent times: Bangladesh
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has described the influx of the Rohingyas from Myanmar as “one of the gravest ethno-religious cleansing of recent times”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invited him to the meet.
Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh sheltering and supporting 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals is the reflection of its truly Samaritan and inclusive nature.
He said the international community needed to continue sustained pressure on Myanmar to ensure the safe, sustainable and dignified return of the Myanmar nationals to a religiously-tolerant and ethnically inclusive Myanmar.
The US Department of State organised the meeting which was attended by 80 delegations, mostly led by ministers.
A good number of members of civil society including religious leaders from different countries attended the conference.The opening session was attended by US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary Pompeo.
Vice President Pence said the US is a nation of faith and religious freedom is a top priority of its foreign policy.
Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali commended the US government for organising the first-ever ‘Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom’.
“We feel that such conference should also be held at regional level. Bangladesh would be ready to host such a regional ministerial in Dhaka at a suitable time,” he said.
He mentioned that the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief noted in his report in 2015 that “religious pluralism is deeply rooted in Bangladesh and the principle of secularism as laid down in the Constitution provides for a framework which accommodates religious and belief-related pluralism for everyone without discrimination”.
Ambassador Sam Brownback, Chair of the conference, praised Bangladesh for hosting such a huge number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
During a reception held in honour of the delegates attending the ministerial, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, thanked Bangladesh for generous humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis, the Bangladesh embassy in Washington said.
She also thanked Bangladesh for opening its arms and allowing international organisations to support the Rohingyas.