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BD-Myanmar talks today Dhaka to seek timeframe for Rohingya repatriation

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Staff Reporter
Bangladesh will seek a ‘specific timeframe’ from Myanmar for the repatriation of its documented citizens from Bangladesh apart from discussing ‘undocumented’ nationals during the foreign-secretary level meeting to be held in Dhaka today.
Both sides will also discuss security and border management issues to find some ‘confidence-building’ measures to boost trust between the two neighbors and develop a ‘well-managed’ border system, sources at the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will lead the home side, while Myanmar Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs U Thant Kyaw his team to the meeting, officially called ‘Foreign Office Consultation (FOC).
The Bangladesh side thinks the relations between the two neighbors will reach a newer height once the Rohingya issue is resolved, and Bangladesh wants to resolve it ‘bilaterally’ as the best option to go ahead.
Currently, some 30,000-32,000 documented Myanmar nationals are living in Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s position is that they must go back to their own country.
According to officials, both sides would discuss trade and commerce issues and try to identify the barriers apart from discussing connectivity issue in a broader sense in the context of BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) and Bimstec (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).
Bangladesh will discuss introducing coastal shipping line for boosting tourism which is part of a tri-nation - India-Bangladesh-Myanmar - initiative.
A delegation of Myanmar, led by Thant Kyaw, arrived here on Thursday night on a four-day visit to attend the eighth round of FOC, which was originally scheduled for June 18.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar delegation visited Sylhet on Friday and returned to the capital today (Saturday). The Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister will also meet Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday afternoon after the FOC.
The FOC will also focus on human trafficking, halting drug smuggling, especially Yaba pill and trade and investment; and energy cooperation and promotion of tourism.
In May last, tension had escalated along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border following the firing of gunshots by Myanmar border guards that claimed the life of Nayek M Mizanur Rahman.
Bangladesh summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh Myo Myint Than twice following the incidents. However, the situation was ‘handled well’ through discussions between the two sides.