Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. AK Abdul Momen. File photo

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. AK Abdul Momen. File photo

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today that Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate the safe and dignified return of Rohingya, now refugees in Bangladesh, to Myanmar.

The Foreign Minister told Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, who is also the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in a telephone conversation.

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During the conversation, Momen emphasized the potential security risks for Bangladesh, Myanmar and the greater region if the Rohingya crisis continues for a much longer period.

He mentioned the vulnerability of displaced people to radicalism, extremism, terrorism, cross-border crimes, etc.

Foreign Minister Momen congratulated his Cambodian counterpart on Cambodia’s assumption of the ASEAN Chairmanship and his appointment as ASEAN Chairman’s Special Envoy to Myanmar.

Referring to the longstanding excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, Momen said Bangladesh highly values ​​its relations with Cambodia as an important partner in the neighborhood.

Hailing the “great heart” shown by Bangladesh in hosting 1.1 million displaced Burmese nationals, Prak Sokhonn expressed his full understanding and sympathy for the difficulties Bangladesh is facing.

He assured of his best efforts to bring a lasting solution to the problem.

Foreign Minister Momen called for Cambodia’s support to expedite Bangladesh’s application for ASEAN Sector Dialogue Partnership Status. In response, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn expressed his approval and assured the necessary coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat in this regard.

Momen also invited his Cambodian counterpart to visit Bangladesh and have a look at the protected Rohingyas. The Cambodian Foreign Minister accepted the invitation without hesitation.