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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held bilateral talks with Chinese Premier, New Zealand Prime Minister and American Vice President on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit

Press Release

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held bilateral talks with Chinese Premier, New Zealand Prime Minister and American Vice President on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held bilateral talks with H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, the Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand and H.E. Mr. Michael Pence, Vice-President of the United States of America separately on the sidelines of 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Singapore.

During the meeting with the Chinese Premier on 15 November 2018, they exchanged views cordially on promotion of bilateral relations and cooperation including provision of assistance for Myanmar’s peace and national reconciliation process, repatriation and resettlement of displaced persons from Rakhine State and continued cooperation between the two countries at the regional and international fora.

During the meeting with the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 14 November 2018, they exchanged views cordially on strengthening of bilateral relations, recent developments in Rakhine State including the preparation for the repatriation of displaced persons and lending support by New Zealand to the ongoing efforts for bringing harmony among the communities in Rakhine State. The two leaders also discussed how New Zealand could help the Government of Myanmar in resolving the humanitarian issue.

During the State Counsellor’s meeting with the Vice President of the United States on 14 November 2018, they frankly exchanged views on Myanmar’s democratization process, media freedom, and recent developments in Rakhine State and some regional issues including the Indo-Pacific Strategy Concept.

The Vice President thanked the State Counsellor for reaching out to the United States and enquired about the steps taken by the Government of Myanmar in addressing the Rakhine issue including repatriation process and accountability of the reported human rights violations.

The State Counsellor informed the Vice President that as there are diverging views on resolving the issue, exchanging views would be useful to understand each other. As the Americans understand their own country better, Myanmar understands her own country better than anyone else. She explained that Myanmar Government has been trying to resolve the Rakhine issue as one of the top priorities, but our approach is different compared with the approach from international community.

State Counsellor explained, inter alia, that the situation in Rakhine State is not a new issue that emerged recently. The present Government, since assuming the office, has been doing its best for peace, stability and rule of law in Rakhine State by forming a Central Committee, and in addressing the issue, the international community is focusing only on the rights of a particular community and they also needs to consider the complexities and the sensitivities of all communities in Rakhine State. In fact, the populations of native Rakhine and other ethnic peoples are shrinking and they are becoming minority in Rakhine State.

State Counsellor also pointed out that while in the view of many countries, the Myanmar Government is biased for the Rakhine people, the Myanmar people view that the international community is totally biased in favour of the other community. She added that if Myanmar resolved the Rakhine issue in a short-sighted approach, it would hurt the stability and the future of the country and that it would be no one else but our own people to suffer the consequences. She apprised him of the measures taken by Myanmar Government to start the repatriation of first batch of displaced persons from Rakine State and to address the accountability for alleged human rights violations through establishing an Independent Commission of Enquiry by the President.

The Vice President stressed the importance for Myanmar to overcome the challenging issue of Rakhine State and expressed that the United States will continue to support for the success of Myanmar’s democratization process.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nay Pyi Taw
Dated: 16 November 2018

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