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Burma agrees to accept 9,000 Rohingya

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Dhaka (Mizzima) - The Burmese junta has agreed to take back 9,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh soon, Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes said in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Visiting Burmese Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint, who was into foreign secretary level talks in Dhaka with the Bangladesh foreign secretary, agreed to take back the refugees shortly as Bangladesh handed over a list of 28,000 Burmese nationals.

Mr. Myint arrived in Dhaka on Monday leading a five-member delegation for the two-day foreign secretary-level talks that began in the capital, Dhaka on Tuesday.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of the fourth foreign secretary level meeting, Mijarul Quayes said the remaining registered refugees will also be repatriated after nationality verification by the Burmese authorities.

He also said Burma has assured Bangladesh it will begin the process of repatriation "as soon as possible".

The foreign secretary also said they raised the matter during the talks and applied pressure on Burma to take them back as early as possible.

Burma has no reservations in taking them back after nationality verification of the undocumented refugees, foreign ministry officials said.

Muslim people from Northern Arakan (Rakhine) state have been crossing into Bangladesh in large numbers since 1991 to escape persecution by the military junta in Burma.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) set up two camps in the country's southeaster Cox's Bazaar district to repatriate the Rohingya people.

More than 28,000 out of 500,000 Rohingya refugees registered in 1992 have been living in the camps.