Burma: Rohingya

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the recent deal signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh allowing the return to Myanmar of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, what representations they are making to the government of Myanmar encouraging it to guarantee the safety and political and social rights of those returnees.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The UK proposed and secured unanimous support for a UN Security Council Presidential Statement on 6 November which urged the Government of Burma to ensure the voluntary return of all refugees in conditions of safety and dignity to their homes, and to allow equal access to full citizenship for all individuals.

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific underlined this call in his meetings with Burma's Minister of Defence, the Deputy Foreign Minister, and Aung San Suu Kyi's Chief of Staff on 20 and 21 November. He stressed the need to ensure security for returnees.

On 23 November, Bangladesh and Burma signed a memorandum of understanding on the return of refugees to Rakhine State. We understand that a joint working group will be set up, with the aim of the process of returns commencing within two months.

The UK Government will press for quick progress on implementation of this bilateral agreement. But we will be clear that any returns must be safe, voluntary and dignified and there must be appropriate international oversight.

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