Turkey pledges continued support to Rohingya refugees as Yıldırım visits Bangladesh
Turkey will continue to give necessary support to Rohingya refugees, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım vowed during an official visit to Bangladesh on Dec. 19.
“As Turkey, from the beginning we have tried to be active on the issue of easing the burden of refugees struggling to hold onto life in difficult conditions,” Yıldırım said.
“From now on we will continue to make necessary contributions and give support as per the guidance of the prime minister and government of Bangladesh,” he said at a news conference with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in the capital Dhaka.
He also called on international community, particularly the U.N., to stop seeing Rohingya issue as it is a “problem only of Bangladesh.”
“[The international community] needs to act more actively on the issues of humanitarian aid and finding a political solution,” Yıldırım added.
Since Aug. 25, over 656,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the U.N.
The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised the issue at the U.N.
Yıldırım said Erdoğan visited Bangladesh in 2010, back when he was prime minister.
“After seven years, we are here once again to further develop our bilateral relations, as well as especially to see the Rohingya refugees and give necessary support to them,” Yıldırım said.
Yıldırım will visit Mainnerghona camp, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the southeastern city of Cox’s Bazar, on Dec. 20 to observe the humanitarian activities carried out by Turkish non-governmental organizations.
Yıldırım also thanked Hasina for their “substantial support and devotion” to Rohingya Muslims.
“At the same time, I congratulate them for the success of international diplomacy that they have maintained to find a long-term solution to the crisis,” he added.
Yıldırım described Bangladesh as a “dynamic” country with one of the “fastest-growing” economies in the world.
In their “productive” meeting, Yıldırım said he discussed with Hasina how Turkey can further contribute to Dhaka’s growth and development targets, exchanging views not only on economic and trade relations but also in the areas of culture and education.
Yıldırım recalled that Ankara and Dhaka signed two agreements envisaging cooperation at the Turkish Standards Institute and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Hasina also said they had a “very fruitful” discussion on bilateral and international issues.
“We reiterated our commitment to work closely and support each other in bilateral and international issues of major concern,” she added.