Tiller­son: Myan­mar vi­o­lence must stop, is like eth­nic cleans­ing

The Detroit News - - Front Page -

Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son has de­liv­ered the tough­est con­dem­na­tion yet from a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial of the per­se­cu­tion of Myan­mar’s Ro­hingya Mus­lims, liken­ing the vi­o­lence against them to eth­nic cleans­ing and de­mand­ing it stop.

On Thurs­day, Tiller­son di­rected the blame to­ward Myan­mar’s pow­er­ful mil­i­tary, which is re­spon­si­ble for se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions that have seen nearly 400,000 peo­ple flee to neigh­bor­ing Bangladesh in the past three weeks af­ter Ro­hingya in­sur­gents launched co­or­di­nated at­tacks on gov­ern­ment forces. He re­it­er­ated sup­port for civil­ian leader Aung San Suu Kyi who is fac­ing grow­ing pres­sure to speak out over the mil­i­tary’s con­duct.

Tiller­son said the U.S. ap­pre­ci­ated the “dif­fi­cult and com­plex sit­u­a­tion” Suu Kyi finds her­self in, shar­ing po­lit­i­cal power with the mil­i­tary, but he also de­scribed the “hor­rors” oc­cur­ring in the South­east Asian na­tion as a “defin­ing mo­ment” for its new democ­racy.

“This vi­o­lence must stop, this per­se­cu­tion must stop. It has been char­ac­ter­ized by many as eth­nic cleans­ing. That must stop,” Tiller­son told a news con­fer­ence in Lon­don af­ter talks with Bri­tain and France.

U.S. ex­tends Iran sanc­tion re­lief while com­plain­ing about be­hav­ior: The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion on Thurs­day ex­tended sanc­tions re­lief to Iran, avoid­ing im­mi­nent ac­tion that could im­plode the land­mark 2015 nu­clear deal, even as Pres­i­dent Trump and Sec­re­tary of State Tiller­son ac­cused Tehran of not re­spect­ing the en­tire agree­ment.

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