DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – The US has agreed to take in a small group of Rohingya refugees from congested camps in Bangladesh’s southern coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
“In the first phase, 62 Rohingya refugees are scheduled to be relocated to the US on Thursday (Dec. 8), while the US will take 300 to 800 yearly,” Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told reporters in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The minister announced the decision following a meeting with visiting US Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes.
“I told the US official that it’s a small group – a drop in the ocean. And she replied … it’s a beginning,” the minister said, adding that there is nothing to be excited about because the number of refugees is so small.
Over 1.2 million persecuted Rohingya are currently housed in Bangladesh on a large hilly forest site in Cox’s Bazar, after fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in August 2017.
Bangladesh’s foreign minister said when he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington this year, he asked him to bring some Rohingya to the US, and he agreed.