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World News

FM Balakrishnan, Aung San Suu Kyi hold ‘warm and open’ talks on situation in Rakhine



Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan met with Myanmar’s State Counsellor in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday (Sep 15).

In a Facebook post, Dr Balakrishnan said he had a “warm and open discussion” with Aung San Suu Kyi on the situation in Rakhine State.

He added that talks also touched on how ASEAN and Myanmar could work together to provide humanitarian assistance to all affected communities in the ongoing crisis.

In a statement issued on Sep 8, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged all parties involved in the conflict to avoid actions that would further worsen the situation on the ground.

MFA also added that as a close friend and fellow ASEAN neighbour, Singapore stands ready to support efforts by the regional grouping to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected people in Rakhine, in accordance with the principles of the ASEAN Charter.

“The situation in Myanmar affects all ASEAN countries. We are prepared to work with the Myanmar government to support their efforts to restore peace and stability. That is in our common interest for the region,” said MFA.

The crisis erupted on Aug 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp, killing a dozen people.

Nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from western Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh since then, sparking international alarm, with the UN Security Council on Wednesday breaking its weeks-long silence and calling for an end to the violence.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s spokesman has said she will not attend next week’s annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations, where the plight of the Rohingya will be in the spotlight.

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