Saudi Arabia inquires Bangladesh about Rohingya passport renewals


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) wanted to know the progress of efforts in renewing the passports of the Rohingyas who went to the KSA back in 1973-74 with Bangladeshi passports.

Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Dr Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al-Daoud discussed the issue with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan during a bilateral meeting at a city hotel on Sunday.

“Many years ago – back in 1973-74, some Rohingyas went to Saudi Arabia. The exact number is unknown to us. They (Saudi side) had informed us that the number is 69,000. It could be more or less,” Khan told reporters after the meeting.

He said a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the KSA that they will not send them back to Bangladesh but their passports need to be renewed.

“He (Saudi Deputy Minister) has come here to see whether we are going slow somewhere, whether we are facing any problems and whether there are any loopholes,” said the Bangladesh Home Minister.

He said the passport information will remain unchanged and only those will be renewed.

As per the Saudi government laws, they send back people if they do not have valid documents.

“We have discussed many other issues,” said the Home Minister, adding that ways of extending cooperation for enhancing the capacity of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police were also discussed.

He said they also discussed ways to enhance understanding in terms of security cooperation.

The Home Minister said they also discussed the Rohingya crisis. “They always work sincerely on the Rohingya issue.”

They laid emphasis on the safe return of the Rohingyas to their homeland as soon as possible.

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