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Myanmar delegation arrives today

By The Daily Star

A five-member Myanmar delegation arrives here today for talks over issues concerning Bangladesh, including repatriation of Rohingyas, stopping Yaba smuggling, establishing a border liaison office to fast track dispute resolution, and holding regular security dialogues.

The delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Thant Kyaw and accompanied by two officials from the embassy in Dhaka, is likely to raise allegations of armed insurgents in yellow fatigues operating in the neighbouring country from Bangladesh, stated sources.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque will lead the 10-member Bangladesh side at the foreign secretary-level 8th Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) on August 31, informed diplomatic sources.

The delegation will afterwards call on Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali in the afternoon. It will also go on a visit to Sylhet tomorrow.

Talks will also centre around human trafficking and security, economic issues including trade and investment, introducing coastal shipping, and cooperation in the fields of energy, education, agriculture and tourism.

Foreign ministry officials told The Daily Star that Dhaka will again invite President Thein Sein to visit Bangladesh. A scheduled visit was postponed after religious violence erupted in the Rakhine state in June 2012.

The FOC was also originally scheduled for June 18 but was postponed due to escalation of border tension when a Border Guard Bangladesh personnel was killed in May by Myanmar border guards.

There are around 30,000 Rohingya refugees living in two camps alongside several lakh undocumented ones around the country.