U.S. welcomes Rohingya refugee repatriation between Myanmar, Bangladesh: Tillerson

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-23 14:22:50|Editor: pengying
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United States supports the Myanmar government's commitment to creating the conditions necessary for all Rohingya refugees to return to their homes safely and voluntarily, and welcomes the recent exchanges between Myanmar and Bangladesh on repatriation, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

The local situation in Myanmar has caused "tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women and children to flee their homes" and to seek refuge in Bangladesh, Tillerson said in a statement posted on the website of the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

"This is a difficult and complex situation. Many stakeholders must work together to ensure progress," he said.

In a teleconference later on Tuesday, two senior State Department officials said on condition of anonymity that the United States was looking at "additional sanctions targeting individuals responsible for specific acts of violence."

"This current crisis was touched off by attacks that were perpetrated on Aug. 25 by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army against more than 20 military posts inside Myanmar," said one of the officials.

Earlier this month, Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi urged solving the Rakhine issue in three ways -- focusing on a diplomatic approach, reconstruction for development and security for the local people.

Myanmar's government has been implementing short-term projects in northern Rakhine after the region regained security and stability wrecked by terrorists in the past three months.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday that China is willing to help Bangladesh and Myanmar properly solve the Rohingya issue.

China holds the view that the Rohingya issue can only be solved properly through consultation between Bangladesh and Myanmar and it proposes a three-phase solution.

The first phase is to achieve a ceasefire so that local residents can no longer be displaced. Second, the international community should encourage Myanmar and Bangladesh to keep communication in a bid to find a feasible solution to the issue. The third phase is to find a long-term solution as poverty is the root cause of turbulence and conflicts, according to Wang.

He called on the international community including the United Nations to create a good atmosphere for friendly consultations between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The Rohingya issue is a complicated one involving history, ethnicity and religion, among others, and thus needs a comprehensive solution, he said.