Malaysia disassociates from Asean chair’s statement on Myanmar conflict

The statement issued by Cayetano at the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in NY did not reflect Kuala Lumpur’s concerns, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi told the Jakarta Post that the ASEAN chairperson’s statement was a result of a closed-door meeting of foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations assembly on Saturday.

“They discussed global issues including migration, climate change and countering violent extremism”.

He said the statement also omitted the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities.

“What is crucial now is that ASEAN undertakes a coordinated effort to assist Myanmar in addressing the needs of the people in the area, in particular their security, livelihood, and well-being, and to provide humanitarian assistance to those communities which are affected”, the DFA added.

Aman disputes that the Chairman’s statement, having disregarded its inputs, “was not based on consensus”.

He welcomed the UN’s role as a catalyst for peace and development, and underlined the important role of the United Nations as a platform for countries to work together to find solutions to complex emerging challenges, the statement added.

Malaysia has opposed the statement issued by Foreign Secretary and current Association of South East Asian Nations Chair Alan Peter Cayetano on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, calling it a “misrepresentation of reality”.

She also offered to Cayetano Indonesia’s four-point recommendation to end the Rakhina crisis, the report said.

“Viable and long-term solutions to the root causes of the conflict must be found in order for the Rohingyas and the affected communities to be able to rebuild their lives”.

“Malaysia expressed grave concerns over such atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis that the world simply can not ignore but must be compelled to act upon”, he said in a statement today.

He said that while Malaysia condemned the August 25 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, it said that “subsequent “clearance operations” by Myanmar authorities was disproportionate”, and has led to civilian deaths and displacement.

“We expressed grave concerns over such atrocities which have unleashed a full-scale humanitarian crisis that the world simply can not ignore but must be compelled to act on”, it added.

They expressed “concern over the recent developments in Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar” saying it does not depict the reality and did not mention the persecuted Rohingya Muslims. Some 430,000 Muslim Rohingya have also fled to Bangladesh.

Malaysia has repeatedly called on the Myanmar government to end the violence in Rakhine and to deal with the root cause of the crisis.

The Nobel Peace Laureate, in a televised address, rejected worldwide condemnation of the violence and insisted that “more than half” of Rohingya villages remain intact.

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