Tillerson to make 1st trip to Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis

AP News
Posted: Nov 02, 2017 1:45 PM
Tillerson to make 1st trip to Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. diplomat Rex Tillerson will make his first trip to Myanmar this month to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, the State Department said Thursday.

Secretary of State Tillerson travels to the capital Naypyitaw Nov. 15 to consult with senior leaders and officials after he accompanies President Donald Trump on his five-nation trip to Asia that starts this weekend.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh following a security crackdown in Rakhine, drawing allegations of ethnic cleansing and overshadowing Myanmar's U.S.-backed transition to democracy.

Tillerson travels first to Tokyo, for Trump's meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that starts Sunday.

Tillerson will also join the president for summits with the leaders of South Korea and China, and for regional summits of Asia-Pacific leaders in Vietnam and the Philippines.

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In the Philippines, Trump will attend a summit of the U.S. and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, however he will skip the East Asia Summit that follows it, where other regional powers like China, Russia and India also take part. Tillerson will represent the U.S. at that meeting.