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The government is optimistic about implementing its plan to relocate Rohingyas to Bhasan Char on completion of further technical assessment to be done by an expert team, said a senior government official.

“We can do that. It’s (Rohingya relocation) possible,” the official told UNB wishing to remain unnamed adding that the government has not shelved its relocation plan at all.

UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh Steven Corliss said the UN’s first technical assessment mission was scheduled to be done from November 17 to November 19.

He said the UN and the government of Bangladesh have agreed to “postpone” the visit to make sure that the right experts and all the necessary logistical arrangements are in place.

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“We’re awaiting confirmation of an alternative date and are also submitting terms of reference to the government for these onsite visits, which are part of a broader assessment process,” the UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh told UNB.

Responding to another question, he said the exact composition of the teams will be defined by the UN objectives and the government’s nod for the visits.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said the technical team is expected to visit the Bhasan Char this month. “They want to ensure some certain issues, and the process will begin after that.”

In reply to a question, the Foreign Secretary said the UN has long been working with the government on the issue, and this is not correct to say the UN is opposing the Bhasan Char relocation plan.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid a military crackdown on the predominantly Muslim minority state Rakhine.

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