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Myanmar, Asean vow to cooperate on repatriation of displaced persons

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Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through by Bangladeshi border guards after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

YANGON (NNN-MNA) – Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have vowed to cooperate in repatriating displaced persons from Bangladesh.

Speaking at a coordination meeting, in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Phi Taw, between the Office of the Asean Secretary-General and the Myanmar government, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Dr. Win Myat Aye said the cooperation would support the activities of the trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed between the Myanmar government, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The undertaking would also support the implementation of the agreements between Myanmar and Bangladesh and the collaboration is important for not only countries in the region but also for the international community.

Asean Secretary-General, Lim Jock Hoi, said, assessment, based on the Asean Emergency Response and Assessment Team (Asean-ERAT) Guidelines, would be conducted, in accordance with the host country’s rules and regulations, prioritised process and protocols.

Myanmar announced readiness to receive back the first batch of 2,261 displaced people from Bangladesh on Nov. 15, but there was no such people seen returning, on the designated day, due to various reasons.

However, Myanmar pledged to work on repatriation, resettlement and reintegration processes, in accordance with bilateral agreement on physical arrangement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, urging the UNHCR to continue assisting the government’s repatriation process, for those who really want to return back to Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.

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