Bangladesh, Myanmar Agree to Talks on Refugee Repatriation
Bangladesh and Myanmar on Saturday agreed to hold talks for the repatriation of more than 280,000 Muslims who fled to Bangladesh alleging persecution by the military, diplomatic sources said.
The two sides agreed to hold their 23rd official meeting "soon" on the issue, but no date has yet been fixed, the sources said.
The agreement came during talks between visiting Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad.
The refugees, known as Rohingyas, fled Arakan area to Bangladesh in 1992 alleging atrocities by Myanmar troops, a charge denied by the junta.
Most of the refugees were repatriated following a 1991 bilateral agreement and a second one in 1993 between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Yangon.
Some 20,000 people still remain in two frontier camps in Bangladesh.
Khin Maung, visiting Dhaka as a special envoy of Myanmar Prime Minister Than Shwe, also Saturday handed over a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed from the junta leader. The contents were not made public.
Khin Maung is the first ranking Myanmar official to visit since a last-minute postponement of a visit by Than Shwe to Dhaka in February this year on health grounds.
The visitor told Dhaka officials the visit would be rescheduled at a mutually convenient time.
Khin Maung also conveyed the sympathy of his government for Bangladesh's flood-hit people, the sources said -- DHAKA (AFP)
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