‘You are not alone,’ OIC delegation tells Rohingya after visiting their camps

Rohingya refugees play football at Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh. (Files/Reuters)
Updated 13 September 2018
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‘You are not alone,’ OIC delegation tells Rohingya after visiting their camps

  • Members of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States spoke to several refugees during their visit
  • The delegation expressed their firm determination to help in the repatriation process of the Rohingya

DHAKA, Bangladesh: A 20-member delegation of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) expressed solidarity with the Rohingya refugees when it visited them in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on Wednesday, telling them that they are not alone.

Nine members of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) also joined the delegation.

“We express our solidarity with you, also show our determination that you are not alone,” M. Jouhamed Khouraichi Niass, the OIC Parliamentary Union (PUIC) secretary-general, told the Rohingya after visiting their camps. 

The delegation started the day-long visit by speaking to several refugee men and women at Ghumdhum for an hour. Later, they visited a UNHCR-run transit center in Kutupalang camp, in the Ukhia sub-district. 

The delegation also witnessed a women-friendly center and a child-friendly center in Kutupalang camp, run by the UN Population Fund and the UN children’s fund UNICEF respectively. In all the places, the Rohigya shared the horrible experiences and atrocities they had faced at the hands of the army in their homeland Myanmar which forced them to take refuge in Bangladesh.

The PUIC delegation expressed their firm determination to help in the repatriation process of the Rohingya. 

“We will discuss using whole channels, diplomatic channels and bilateral channels to help our brothers go back to their native Myanmar. This is what which brought us here today,” said Khouraichi Niass, the chief of the delegation.

“All the countries sent us here studying your issue. We will use all means, legal means, to get your rights. This is why we are here today with a big delegation from the PUIC.” 

Niass expressed his strong hope that “Allah will help to succeed with a peaceful solution” for the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner of Bangladesh, Abul Kalam, told Arab News that in this visit the PUIC delegation had received a clear picture about what is going on and what the refugees have experienced back in Myanmar. “Now the PUIC will strengthen its bilateral efforts to solve the refugee crisis since Myanmar has very good relations with some of the OIC members and the delegation has assured us in this regard.” 

After this visit, OIC will be able to play a “more effective role” in various diplomatic channels, said Kalam, who was part of the visiting delegation.


EU backs Iran sanctions over foiled France attack plot -diplomats

Updated 4 min 6 sec ago
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EU backs Iran sanctions over foiled France attack plot -diplomats

  • The ministers said technical work could now start on an EU-wide asset freeze on two Iranians and the Iranian intelligence service over a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack
  • Denmark, which in October said it suspected an Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out an assassination plot on its soil

BRUSSELS: European Union foreign ministers on Monday endorsed a French government decision to sanction Iranian nationals accused of a bomb plot in France, potentially allowing the measures to take effect across the bloc, three diplomats said.
The ministers said technical work could now start on an EU-wide asset freeze on two Iranians and the Iranian intelligence service over a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organized by an exiled Iranian opposition group.
Denmark, which in October said it suspected an Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out an assassination plot on its soil, also pushed for support for similar EU-wide sanctions once its investigation is complete, the diplomats told Reuters.
Though largely symbolic, the EU’s readiness to target Iranians marks a shift after months of division within the bloc over how to punish Iranians accused of destabilising activities in Europe and the Middle East.
Eager to save a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran from which the United States has withdrawn, the EU has focused its efforts in trying to keep trade flowing with Iran in the face of renewed US sanctions, in order to keep Tehran from pulling out.
In an effort to balance their Iran policy, ministers also discussed setting up a special mechanism to trade with Iran that would be under EU, not national, law. They believe this formula could shield individual member states from being hit by US sanctions that have been reimposed on trade with Iran after Washington’s pullout from the nuclear deal.
In March, Britain, France and Germany proposed to sanction Iran over its development of ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war, but the initiative failed to gather sufficient support across the EU to take effect.