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Intervention in Myanmar may aggravate situation — Russian Foreign Ministry

September 15, 17:28 UTC+3 YALTA

Moscow supports "efforts for promoting the inter-religious dialogue in Myanmar among the spiritual leaders of all confessions"

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YALTA, September 15. /TASS/. Attempts at intervening in Myanmar’s internal affairs may have only one net effect - still deeper interreligious discord, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"It is essential to remember that the wish to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state may merely bring about further inter-religious discord," she said.

Moscow supports "efforts for promoting the inter-religious dialogue in Myanmar among the spiritual leaders of all confessions."

"In that connection we took note of the collective statement by the leading organizations representing Myanmar’s multi-ethnic Muslim community who condemned armed actions by radical elements in that region (Rakhine)," Zakharova said. "We express support for the government and urge the coreligionists to avoid yielding to provocations by extremist forces."

Zakharova said Moscow welcomed the government of Myanmar in its efforts "to implement recommendations made by the commission under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan."

"In part, a special committee has been created for this purpose under the minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement, which incorporates officials of the law enforcement and economic agencies," Zakharova said.

Also, she pointed out that Myanmar authorities were "providing assistance to the internally displaced persons in returning to their homes."

"According to the available data about two thousand people have returned to their homes," Zakharova said. "We expect that similar measures will be taken in relation to other persons affected by the migration crisis."

On the situation in the country

Zakharova said Myanmar’s military transport aircraft were delivering foods, medicines and other relief aid to that area (Rakhine).

"Mobile medical centers have been set up to provide assistance to the local population. Ruined infrastructure facilities are being repaired. A tour of the northern part of that area has been arranged for correspondents of local and foreign mass media," Zakharova said. "We hope that journalists’ humanitarian access to the violence-stricken areas will become standard practice," she said.

Tensions in the state of Rakhine flared up on August 25, when hundreds of militants of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army raided 30 police posts. Clashes claimed 400 lives and another 391,000 Rohingya migrants had to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

The Rohingya people professing Islam reside in Myanmar’s State of Rakhine. The authorities regard them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Rakhine has repeatedly been a scene of religious conflicts between Muslims and local Buddhists. Violence there has left thousands dead over the past few years. According to the United Nations, The Rohingya people are one of the "most friendless" ethnic minorities in the world. Myanmar’s authorities refuse to recognize their citizenship although many generations of the Rohingya people have been resident in the country.

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