China wants Bangladesh, Myanmar to solve Rohingya crisis bilaterally

DHAKA (Reuters) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday urged Bangladesh and Myanmar resolve the Rohingya crisis through bilateral negotiations instead of an international initiative.

Rohingya refugees install tube-well in the Jamtoli refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamamd Ponir Hossain

“The international community should not complicate the situation,” Wang said in a press briefing at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.

“Actions in the United Nations Security Council must help Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral cooperation to resolve the problem peacefully”, the minister told reporters.

Wang arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday for a two-day visit and from there he will go to Myanmar to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting. (ASEM)

“China supports resolving the crisis peacefully, bilaterally with mutual consultation between Bangladesh and Myanmar,” he said.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August driven out by a military clearance operation in Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

“It is a complex situation and needs a comprehensive solution. Economic development of Rakhine State is needed. China is ready to help,” Wang said.

Earlier in the day Wang also met with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence in Dhaka and assured her of China’s support in solving the crisis.

“Myanmar will have to take back their nationals ensuring their safety, security and dignity for a durable solution to the crisis,” Hasina’s private secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the prime minister as saying.

“We will not allow the land of Bangladesh to be used by any terrorist group to commit any act of insurgency in neighboring countries,” Hasina added, according to Karim.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told Wang that Bangladesh is trying to resolve the issue both bilaterally and internationally as it could not afford the huge burden of the refugees.

A statement from Bangladesh foreign ministry said that when the issue of displaced Myanmar nationals was raised, Wang stated that China would help resolve the issue and will not be partial to any side.

He acknowledged that Bangladesh is facing the brunt of continuing influx of Rohingya refugees, the Bangladeshi foreign ministry statement said.

A delegation of U.S. Congressmen is visiting Bangladesh to study the Rohingya crisis on Saturday.

Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kona will also visit Bangladesh this week.

Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Toby Chopra