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India pushing Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees, says Sushma Swaraj

Swaraj, PM Shiekh Hasina discussed the ongoing refugee crisis over the phone last night

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

Rohingya Muslims, Rohingya, food items
Rohingya Muslims carry food items across from Bangladesh towards no man's land where they have set up a refugee camp, as smoke rise from fire across the border in Myanmar, in Tombru, Bangladesh. (Photo: PTI)

External Affairs Minister has expressed solidarity with over the Rohingya crisis and said is putting pressure on to take back who have fled the Buddhist-majority nation, a top aide of Prime Minister has said.

More than 300,000 Rohingya have poured into since the latest flare-up in violence on August 25, adding to around 300,000 already living in Bangladesh, close to the border with

"She (Swaraj) called our Prime Minister last night and conveyed her country's solidarity with over the refugee issue," Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina deputy press secretary Nazrul Islam told PTI.

Swaraj, he said, told the premier that the crisis by now appeared as an international issue while was trying to put "pressure bilaterally and multilaterally on to stop persecution on ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims" and take back the who fled to

According to the spokesman, Hasina, on the other hand, said was forced to offer refuge to the on humanitarian grounds as they fled their home at Myanmar's western Rakhine state to evade atrocities.

He said Hasina explained to Swaraj the helplessness and miseries of the refugees, particularly of the minor children and women, and said is trying to address their basic needs.

"She (Hasina) told Swaraj that required external supports to handle the refugee issue and return them to Myanmar," the spokesman said.

Hasina said her government allocated land for makeshift shelters of the "but, it will certainly create a big problem for if they stay for long".

The premier's spokesman said Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla was present at the Hasina's Ganabhaban residence when Swaraj called.

Swaraj's call came hours after the external affairs ministry issued a statement expressing India's readiness to provide "any assistance" in tackling the refugee crisis.

India, on Friday, rushed 53 tonnes of relief materials to and pledged all help to Dhaka in tackling the humanitarian crisis.

Shringla said will provide 7,000 tonnes of relief materials to

Dhaka earlier said required India's assistance in its efforts to handle the situation and send the back home.

"The entire world today is worried over the Rohingya issue (and) their (India's) concern and stand beside us is very crucial at this moment," ruling Awami League general secretary and senior minister Obaidul Quader said earlier this week.

First Published: Fri, September 15 2017. 23:42 IST
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