UK Foreign Secretary Visits Bangladesh

UK Foreign Secretary Visits Bangladesh

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has visited Bangladesh as part of a four day tour in Asia, in which he also visited Myanmar and Thailand, to discuss issues including the illegal wildlife trade and the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

The first official visit by a UK Foreign Secretary to Bangladesh in 10 years, Johnson met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on February 9, 2018 to discuss the upcoming Commonwealth Summit in April and possible trade opportunities between the two Commonwealth countries once the UK leaves the European Union, as well as broader issues such as gender equality and democratic elections.

He also met with Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali to discuss the Rohingya refugee crisis, in which hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing religious persecution in their home nation, Myanmar.

He welcomed Bangladesh’s commitment to the voluntary and safe return of the Rohingya community to their homes, at the appropriate time and with international monitoring assistance.

The Foreign Minister was also invited to attend the London Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference later in the year.

Johnson then paid a visit to a refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar on the Bangladesh-Mynamar border to assess conditions.

Johnson said: “I’m here in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh where I’m looking at one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes that’s happened in the last few decades.

“The Bangladeshi government have done fantastically well to welcome them, to look after them in this enormous camp that you can see.

“Our job as the United Kingdom is to try and work now, with our partners, to do what we can to create the conditions for a safe, dignified return for the Rohingya people.”

He continued: “UK Aid is making a real difference with £59 million helping to provide the food, water and shelter that is still so needed.

“But our partnership with Bangladesh goes beyond the Rohingya crisis, as we continue to work together on vital bilateral and global issues such as girl’s education, the illegal wildlife trade, and human rights.”

Read More: The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and partners are assisting efforts in Bangladesh to protect over 100,000 Rohingya refugees at risk from landslides and floods