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(2017-01-19) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation held an Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers on the situation of the Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar, today, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs led the Pakistani delegation at the Session, which concluded by adopting a Resolution and a Final Communique’.

The Resolution and the ensuing Final Communique, termed the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar as a crisis of unprecedented proportions and expressed concern over the continued acts of repression, discrimination and violence against the Rohingyas. While appreciating steps taken by the Government of Myanmar for peace, the Resolution, most importantly, calls for the restoration of the rights of the Rohingya Muslims as citizens of Myanmar and for the Myanmar Government to provide them with their fundamental rights and to address the root causes of conflict.

The Resolution also calls for the immediate involvement of the Muslim countries as well as the rest of the International community to intervene more proactively, including through humanitarian assistance, and pressurize the Government of Myanmar to initiate a process of reconciliation. In this context, a high level OIC delegation’s visit to Myanmar should be considered a priority.

In his statement at the Session, Mr. Sartaj Aziz welcomed democratic transition in Myanmar and appreciated setting up of Advisory Commission on Rakhine State by the Government of Myanmar in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Foundation to improve the welfare of all people in Rakhine state. He urged the Government of Myanmar that, in the spirit of transparency related to Rohingya Muslims, allow media access and distribution of humanitarian aid in areas affected by the recent spate of violence and to cooperate with the OIC for humanitarian assistance to affected areas.

While reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to the Muslim populations under distress like Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine, the Advisor reminded that Pakistan had repeatedly voiced its concern in the case of Rohingya Muslims at various international forums. ThePrime Minister of Pakistan had also graciously announced humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in the form of rice worth US$ 5 million.

In his keynote address to the participants of the Extraordinary Session, the Prime Minister Najib Bin Tun Razak of Malaysia thanked the OIC member countries for their participation in this meeting and stressed upon the Muslim countries to take serious steps for the resolution of the issue of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. He indicated that the issue was no more a domestic issue of Myanmar and that it transcended international borders. He urged the Government of Mynamar to respect international law and its own traditions and to accept the Rohingyas as legal populace of Myanmar.

19 January 2017

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