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US to take in 62 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh

US to take in 62 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Memon says number of refugees is small, but Washington will accept 300 to 800 from Cox's Bazar capms each year

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh said on Tuesday that the US has agreed to take in a small group of Rohingya refugees from congested camps in the country's southern coastal district of Cox's Bazar.

"In the first phase, 62 Rohingya refugees are scheduled to be relocated to the US on Thursday (Dec. 8), while the US will take 300 to 800 yearly," Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told reporters in the capital Dhaka.

The minister announced the decision following a meeting with visiting US Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes.

“The US will relocate 62 Rohingya refugees on Thursday, in a symbolic move,” he remarked.

“I told the US official that it’s a small group – a drop in the ocean. And she replied … it’s a beginning,” the minister said, adding that there is nothing to be excited about because the number of refugees is so small.

However, the US will accept 125,000 refugees from all over the world each year, with 35,000 from Asian countries, the minister said, citing media reports.

Over 1.2 million persecuted Rohingya are currently housed in Bangladesh on a large hilly forest site in Cox's Bazar, after fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in August 2017.

Bangladesh's foreign minister said when he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington this year, he asked him to bring some Rohingya to the US, and he agreed.

Actually, he had requested that at least 100,000 Rohingya be taken to ease the refugee pressure on Bangladesh, the minister said, adding that he had made similar requests to other developed nations such as the UK and Japan, which are capable of dealing with the issue.

Noyes is currently on an official visit to Bangladesh from Dec. 3 to 7 to express gratitude for their generosity in hosting Rohingya and other refugees fleeing the worsening humanitarian crisis in Burma (Myanmar), the US State Department said in a statement posted on its official website on Friday.

During her visit, she will meet with non-governmental and international organization partners in Bangladesh to highlight the US commitment to supporting the Rohingya refugee response and the impacted host communities, the statement said.

During a visit to the refugee camps on Monday, Noyes stated that the US is actively working to solve the Rohingya crisis.

source: News Feed
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