Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Burmese Dy Foreign Minister in Bangladesh for talks

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 12:18 Siddique Islam

Dhaka (Mizzima) - Burmese Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint arrived in Bangladesh capital, Dhaka on Monday leading a delegation for the foreign secretary-level talks, officials said.

The Director General of the External Publicity Wing of the Foreign Ministry Saida Muna Tasneem said the Maung Myint led five-member-team will meet the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes led team.

The two-day talks between Bangladesh and Burma is scheduled to start today morning, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

"Around 30 issues have been identified for the talks," another MOFA official said, adding that the entire gamut of bilateral issues encompassing trade to energy cooperation between the two neighbours would be discussed at the meeting.

Dhaka is expected to attach the highest importance to the issue of hydropower plant as the country is in dire need of electricity.

Establishing a direct air route between Dhaka and Rangoon, eliminating problems relating to business visa, introducing direct letters of credit (L/C) for foreign trade, and reducing the bilateral trade gap are some of the major issues to be discussed, they added.

Dhaka earlier requested Rangoon to consider setting up of a hydroelectric power plant in the Rakhine state under a joint venture. The Burmese side had agreed to discuss the matter in the upcoming fourth foreign secretary level consultation.

The Bangladesh foreign secretary recently told reporters that Bangladesh would press its neighbour to stop pushing Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh territory. Muslim people from the Northern Rakhine state have been crossing into Bangladesh in large numbers since 1991 to escape persecution by the military junta in Burma.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) set up two camps in the country's southeaster Cox's Bazaar district to repatriate the Rohingya people.

More than 28,000 out of 500,000 Rohingya refugees registered in 1992 have been living in the camps.