Hun Sen: Go easy on Myanmar

Hun Sen: Go easy on Myanmar

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw poses for photos with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Saturday. (EPA Photo)
Myanmar President Htin Kyaw poses for photos with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Saturday. (EPA Photo)

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen does not agree with the international focus being placed on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, saying it should be an internal issue for Myanmar alone, a senior minister said on Saturday.

"We do not agree with the internationalisation of the Rohingya issue, and according to the Asean Charter, no member has the right to interfere in the sovereignty of other member states," Information Minister Khieu Kanharithth quoted the premier as saying during a meeting with Myanmar President Htin Kyaw.

The issue of the persecution of ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has drawn considerable attention, especially from international rights watchdogs and other countries.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been an outspoken critic of Myanmar's handling of the Rohingya, and maintains that Asean has an obligation to speak out. However, some of his critics say his stand has more to do with shoring up his sagging political credibility among Muslims in his own country.

A report released Friday by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said crimes against humanity have potentially been committed against Rohingya in Myanmar's conflict-riddled Rakhine State.

The report was based on interviews with people who recently fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, and found the majority had witnessed killings and many had family members who had been killed or were missing.

Myanmar does not class the Rohingya as citizens, and has maintained that such reports are fabrications, while preventing media and international observers from accessing Rakhine.

Htin Kyaw began a four-day state visit to Cambodia on Friday. During his meeting with Hun Sen, Htin Kyaw congratulated Cambodia for its economic growth and development, and requested leadership advice from the Cambodian premier, who has been in power since 1985.

Htin Kyaw told Hun Sen that he had only been office since last year, and therefore required leadership experience from the Cambodian side.

Both leaders also discussed strengthening diplomacy, education, trade, and tourism, according to Ieng Sophalette, spokesman for Hun Sen.

Before returning to Myanmar on Monday, Htin Kyaw and his wife will spend two nights in Siem Reap, home of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

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