Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to start returning Rohingya refugees in November after more than 720,000 Rohingya fled a brutal military crackdown in August last year.
The Rohingya refugees are taking shelter in crowded camps in Bangladesh and bringing with them harrowing tales of rape, murder and arson blamed on the Myanmar army.
Investigators have said senior Myanmar military officials should be prosecuted for genocide in Rakhine state, but the country has rejected these calls, insisting it was defending itself against armed fighters.
Myanmar and Bangladesh announced a large-scale repatriation plan in November 2017. But the process hit bureaucratic hurdles almost immediately, and it failed to take off, as both sides blamed the other for the delay.
Rights groups have warned that returning the Rohingya to Myanmar would condemn them to further reprisals.
Authorities in Buddhist-majority Myanmar say more than 100 displaced Rohingya have returned in recent months, but Bangladesh insists that the official process has not commenced.
"We are looking forward to starting the repatriation by mid-November," Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said after talks in Dhaka between officials from both countries.
"It is the first phase," Haque said.
Myanmar's permanent secretary of foreign affairs Myint Thu, who attended the talks, said both sides agreed to a "very concrete" plan to start the process next month.
"We have shown our political will, flexibility and accommodation to commence the repatriation at the earliest possible date," Thu told reporters.
source: aljazeera.com/Newa Agency