China proposes three-phase solution to Rakhine issue in Myanmar: FM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-20 02:35:28|Editor: Yamei
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on Nov. 19, 2017. At the press conference, Wang Yi expressed support for Myanmar's peace process, highlighting that China hopes for the smooth progress of the process in Myanmar more than any other country. (Xinhua/U Aung)

NAY PYI TAW, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday that China proposed a three-phase solution to help settle the issue in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

China believed that the Rakhine issue can be addressed by a solution acceptable to both Myanmar and Bangladesh through consultations between the two neighboring countries, Wang told a joint press conference with Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

The international community and the United Nations Security Council should encourage such efforts by creating conditions and good atmosphere for the consultations, he added.

The Chinese top diplomat said the Bangladesh government pledged to continue bilateral talks with Myanmar over the issue when he visited the country Saturday. Myanmar also expressed the same attitude, he said.

Wang said the Rakhine issue is a complicated one touching on history, ethnicity and religion, which calls for both an urgent and long-term solution.

Thus China proposes a three-phase solution, he said.

The first phase is to achieve a ceasefire so that local residents can no longer be displaced. Through joint efforts, the ceasefire has been in place, Wang said.

Second, the international community should encourage Myanmar and Bangladesh to keep communication in a bid to find a feasible solution to the issue, he said. The two countries have reached an initial agreement on repatriation of refugees fleeing to Bangladesh from Myanmar.

The third phase is to find a long-term solution. Stressing that poverty is the root cause of turbulence and conflict, the Chinese foreign minister called on the international community to support poverty alleviation efforts in Rakhine state.

Development can lead to stability, Wang said, adding that China's proposal has been backed by both Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The Chinese foreign minister will participate in the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) foreign ministers' meeting to be held in Nay Pyi Daw on Nov. 20-21. He also visited Bangladesh and Myanmar.

KEY WORDS: Myanmar