France welcomes the agreement reached on November 23 between Burma and Bangladesh. This is a first step toward allowing the voluntary return of the Rohingya refugees to Burma when the conditions are right.
In the face of this major humanitarian and human rights tragedy, Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed to his Burmese and Bangladeshi counterparts on the sidelines of the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting the urgent need to put an end to the violence and discrimination in Rakhine State, allow full, safe and unrestricted humanitarian access to the populations in need and to facilitate the voluntary and safe return of the refugees, in accordance with international standards.
In order to establish favorable conditions for the return of the refugees, measures must be taken in Rakhine State to promote reconstruction, reconciliation and human rights. The creation of a committee of experts to monitor the implementation in full of the recommendations made by the Kofi Annan-led commission, to which Aung San Suu Kyi also committed herself, should contribute to this.
In this context, France continues to lend its support to Burma’s democratic transition and to the efforts of the civilian government to strengthen the rule of law and respect for human rights. It also welcomes the efforts of the Bangladeshi authorities to host the refugees in its territory.