Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Aid groups urge United Nations rights council session on Rohingya crisis

Aid groups urge United Nations rights council session on Rohingya crisis

Suu Kyi made the comments Monday in a speech in the capital Naypyitaw, which is hosting a biennial meeting of Asian foreign ministers and European Union officials.

Speaking in Naypyitaw on Sunday having arrived from Dhaka, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China believed Myanmar and Bangladesh could work out a mutually acceptable way to end the crisis.

Burma and Bangladesh have endorsed China's calls for a negotiated resolution of the Rohingya refugee crisis, Beijing has claimed.

More than 600,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August driven out by a military clearance operation in Buddhist majority Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Myanmar's Catholic cardinal has defended Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi against "unfair" criticism over Myanmar's military crackdown on Muslim Rohingya, and says terming it "ethnic cleansing" is unhelpful and premature.

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"China and Myanmar are very much different in size and power, but when it comes to mutual understanding, the two countries are friends with the same values", she said.

Wang urged the global community including the United Nations should create a good atmosphere for the consultations between Bangladesh and Myanmar, Xinhua added.

"First is to have a cease-fire and to restore order and stability, so the people could stop running away and live in peace", Wang said.

"In the second stage, all parties should encourage and support Myanmar and Bangladesh to strengthen exchanges, to find a way to solve this issue through consultation on the basis of equality", The Associated Press quoted Wang as saying during the news conference.

Stressing that poverty is the root cause of turbulence and conflict, the Chinese foreign minister called on the worldwide community to support poverty alleviation efforts in Rakhine state. "We call on the global community to help the region get rid of poverty and increase investment".

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Myanmar intends to resettle most refugees who return to Rakhine state in new "model villages", rather than on the land they previously occupied, an approach criticised in the past by the United Nations as effectively creating permanent camps.

It remains unclear what mediating role China might play.

In an interview with the Associated Press on November 18 ahead of the pope's visit to Myanmar starting on November 27, Cardinal Charles Bo said global criticism of Suu Kyi and her perceived indifference to the persecution of the Rohingya has been "very unfair".

Myanmar and Bangladesh are yet to strike a deal to repatriate the Rohingya refugees.

Myanmar's military has said that all fighting against the Rohingya militants died out on Sept.5.

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Amnesty International and 34 other humanitarian groups on Monday called for the UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

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