Malaysian Foreign Minister to Visit Myanmar for Boat People Talks

KUALA LUMPUR (DPA) — The Malaysian Foreign Minister was to visit Myanmar Thursday to discuss the thousands of migrants from Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority adrift across South-East Asia.

Anifah Aman's visit comes a day after Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta agreed to allow thousands of the migrants, who also include Bangladeshis, to temporarily land on their shores, after Aman met with his counterparts from Thailand and Indonesia in the Malaysian capital.

He was to meet Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin in the state capital Nay Pyi Taw "to discuss and exchange views on the issue of irregular movement of people, in particular, human trafficking and people smuggling in South-East Asia," the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said.

Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have come under international criticism for their initially slow response to the reports of thousands of Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants in fishing boats in Andaman Sea.

Myanmar has refused to recognize the Rohingyas as citizens and considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The Rohingyas say persecution in Myanmar forces them to flee to Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia.

(Reporting by John Grafilo)


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