Rohingya crisis: UN chief asks Suu Kyi to allow return of Muslim refugees

Rohingya Muslims walk to the shore after arriving on a boat from Myanmar to Bangladesh in Shah Porir Dwip. Photo: AP | PTI

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and urged her to take steps to ensure “dignified” return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who have fled the country to Bangladesh following violence against them.

Separately on the margins of the ASEAN summit in Manila, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also met Suu Kyi and discussed the humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine state.

In his meeting with Myanmar’s State Counsellor, the UN Secretary General highlighted the need for allowing the return of displaced Muslims who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The Rohingya issue also figured during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump last night.

“The Secretary-General and the State Counsellor discussed the situation in Rakhine State. The Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential,” the UN said in a statement.

Over 6,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar’s Rakhine state since late August after large-scale violence.

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