Dhaka, 28 Jan, Abnews: Visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo today called for a peaceful and quick solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis as he held official talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here.
"Against the backdrop of the bilateral ties between Bangladesh and Myanmar, It's necessary to solve the Rohingya crisis peacefully and as soon as possible," Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque quoted the Indonesian President as saying while briefing reporters after the talks at the Prime Minister's Office this morning.
Replying to a question whether the visit of Indonesian President to Bangladesh and the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar is any kind of pressure on Myanmar on this issue, the foreign secretary answered in the affirmative.
"Definitely it's a pressure on Myanmar .... I think the visit of the head of the government of an ASEAN member country to Bangladesh and witnessing the plight of the Rohingyas itself are a huge issue," he said.
Haque said Bangladesh is seeking political support from different countries including Indonesia on the Rohingya issue and Jakarta has already taken a stance in favour of the Rohingyas in the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council.
"We hope that Indonesia will keep up their support on the issue," he said.
The foreign secretary said the Indonesian President highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for giving shelter to over one million Rohingya people who fled sectarian violence in Myanmar and taking all types of arrangements for them.
The foreign secretary said the talks between the two leaders started through a tete-a-tete and later across the table different issues were discussed between the two countries.
He said at the talks Bangladesh and Indonesia agreed to launch a negotiation on signing a preferential trade agreement to advance the trade and investment.
Haque said the two leaders admitted that significant progress is yet to be made in trade, commerce and investment between the two countries despite having huge potentials.
"And to take ahead the trade and investment, the two sides in the talks have agreed to make negotiation on inking a preferential trade agreement," he said.
Once the deal is signed, he hoped, Indonesia will give a concession to Bangladesh in exporting goods and it will help reduce trade gap between the two countries.
The foreign secretary said the two sides also agreed to work together in the field of marine resources to unlock the potential in the sector.
He mentioned a Joint Communique on cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to promote sustainable fisheries governance has been signed between the two countries to strengthen cooperation in this area.
Pointing out her government's strides for setting up 100 economic zones across the country, the premier sought Indonesian investment in the zones, Haque said.
The foreign secretary said Bangladesh has been making efforts for a long time to be a sectoral dialogue partner of the ASEAN.
While talking about the issue, the Indonesian President informed the prime minister that Jakarta will extend cooperation to Dhaka in this regard.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jahid Malek, PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, among others, aided the prime minister at the talks. – BSS