Myanmar on Thursday said the instrument signed with Bangladesh on return of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar was based on the joint statement signed in 1992 that Bangladesh has opposed all along.
The arrangement contained the general guiding principles and policy arrangements to systematically verify and receive the displaced persons from Rakhine State.
However with regard to the principles and criteria of return under the 1992 Joint Statement, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali in a diplomatic briefing on October 9 highlighted that the situation of 1992 and current situation are entirely different.
Referred to the recent visit of Myanmar’s Union Minister at the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe to Dhaka on October 2 at his invitation, the Foreign Minister informed the diplomats that during the meeting the Union Minister has expressed Myanmar’s willingness to take back the “displaced residents” of Myanmar and proposed to follow the principle and criteria agreed upon in the 1992 ‘Joint Statement’.
"So, identification of Rohingyas based on their residence in Rakhine would not be realistic. Bangladesh therefore proposed and handed over a new arrangement to the visiting Minister outlining the principles and criteria for repatriation," reads the Foreign Ministry statement on October 9.
Union Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali signed the arrangement on return of displaced persons from Rakhine State at the meeting room, Ministry of the Office of the State Counsellor on Thursday afternoon.
Western countries as well the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), had portrayed the matter as an international issue by passing resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, Myanmar said on 1992 understanding.
The Security Council also issued a Presidential Statement on the issue.
The principled position of Myanmar is that the issues that emerge between neighbouring countries must be resolved amicably through bilateral negotiations, according to a statement UNB received from the Ministry of the Office of the State Counsellor, Myanmar.
The present arrangement, which had been agreed to by both countries based on their friendly and good neighbourly relations demonstrate the steadfast position of Myanmar and is a win-win situation for both countries, it said.
Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday morning and discussed issues of mutual cooperation including trade, energy and connectivity under BCIM.