The Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali arrived in Kuwait on Tuesday to attend the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), which is being held on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Foreign Minister said that he met the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Secretary General on Tuesday evening. The Secretary General, recalling his maiden official visit to Bangladesh in March last year and his interactions with the Foreign Minister, praised Bangladesh for its constructive role in OIC endeavors. He added that Bangladesh derived its strength from “a neutral and impartial stand” on many of the contentious issues.
Among other issues, the issue of Rohingya Muslims and the plight of the 'boat people' came up for discussion. The Foreign Minister elaborated on the historical background of migration in the Arakan state from the time of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM) and emphasized that the migration of Muslims to Arakan were from many of the neighboring countries of Myanmar. “Therefore, over simplification of the issue and terming these Muslims as “Bengalis” are not supported by historical facts,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh looks forward to the upcoming meeting of Bangkok on May 29. That, he hoped, would address the immediate actions related to the “boat people” crisis.
The Secretary General and Bangladesh Foreign Minister also exchanged views on various developments in regional and international arenas. They also discussed the role of OIC as an interlocutor to build peace and confidence in the conflict zones.
The Secretary General pledged all-out support for further enhancing the existing cooperation between Bangladesh and the OIC in various fields. He appreciated the role of the Bangladesh foreign minister for his active and constructive contribution during the last meeting of ministers held in Jeddah.
The Bangladesh ambassador to Kuwait Major General (Rtd) Mohammad Ashab Uddin, and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Permanent Representative to the OIC Golam Moshi were present, among others, during the meeting.
The foreign minister is expected to deliver speeches on behalf of the Asian Group in the inaugural session and special brainstorming session on ‘Effective Strategy to Combat Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Islamophobia’ at the meeting.