Delegates to the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plenary summit have expressed deep concern over the plight of Rohingya Muslims, officials said.
At a press conference on the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings in Manila, Philippine Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has assured other Southeast Asian nations that her country will facilitate the safe repatriation of Rohingya who fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to Bangladesh.
Roque told international and local journalists that the return of the Rohingya to their homeland will reportedly be made three weeks following Myanmar’s agreement with Bangladesh on the matter.
“Myanmar responded; Kofi Annan’s report is being addressed,” he said, referring to a report released by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommending specific actions to address the issue, including citizenship verification, rights and equality before the law, and documentation.
“ASEAN has expressed concern for the Rohingya people,” Roque added. According to Roque, the Philippines acknowledged the need for relief assistance not only to the displaced families of Marawi City but also the Rohingya refugees.—Agencies