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Turkey pledges continued support to Rohingya refugees

ANKARA: Turkey will continue to give necessary support to Rohingya refugees, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Tuesday.

“As Turkey, since the beginning, we tried to be active on the issues of easing burden of about 10 million refugees, who struggle to hold on life in difficult conditions, until a political solution fully achieved.

“From now on, we will continue to give necessary contributions and support as per guidance of the prime minister of Bangladesh and the government of Bangladesh,” Yıldırım said at a news conference with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in the capital Dhaka.

Yıldırım also called on international community, particularly the UN, to stop seeing Rohingya issue as it is the “problem only of Bangladesh”.

“It [international community] needs to act more actively on the issues of humanitarian aid and political solution,” he added.

Since Aug. 25, over 656,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue at the UN.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Yıldırım said Erdoğan, the then prime minister, visited Bangladesh in 2010.

“After seven years, we are here once again to further develop our bilateral relations, as well as especially to see the Rohingya refugees and to give necessary support to them,” Yıldırım said.

The premier will visit Mainnerghona camp, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the southeastern Cox’s Bazar, on Wednesday to observe the humanitarian activities carried out by Turkish non-governmental organizations.

Yıldırım thanked Hasina for their “substantial support and devotion” to Rohingya Muslims.

“At the same time, I congratulate them for the success of international diplomacy that they maintained to find a long standing and persistent solution to the crisis,” he added.

The premier said he had a “productive” meeting with Hasina. Yıldırım described Bangladesh as a “dynamic” country since it is the one of the “fastest-growing” economies in the world. DNA

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