NEW DELHI, India — Bangladesh has called for international pressure on Myanmar to force it to take back and resettle almost one million Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in the Rakhine state.

Speaking in New Delhi on Thursday evening, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said the Rohingya refugee crisis “has soured our relations” but Dhaka continues to maintain “bilateral engagements with Myanmar.”

The two countries agreed on an arrangement this week to repatriate the refugees over a period of two years.

The Bangladesh minister expressed the hope that the problem can be solved permanently with sustainable return of the Rohingya to Myanmar.

“The government of Bangladesh would like to urge the international community to support rehabilitation efforts in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar where the Rohingyas came from,” Ali said in a speech at the “Raisina Dialogue” conference.

“We would also like to request India and the international community to keep putting pressure on Myanmar authorities so that complete and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees could be ensured,” the minister said.

Bangladesh hosts almost one million Rohingya Muslim refugees, with most of them arriving within the last six months, facing what the United Nations has described as a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.

“Myanmar orchestrated an unprecedented exodus of Rohingyas from its Rakhine state. Almost 700,000 desperate Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since 25 August 2017,” Ali said.

The Bangladesh foreign minister said the refugee influx has put a strain on his country and tested its policy of “friendly and good neighbourly relations” with Myanmar.



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