MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine chief Rodrigo Duterte apologized to Myanmar counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday for saying genocide was taking taken place in her nation, saying his comment was a satirical barb on the West for not taking in Rohingya Muslims.
The United Nations and rights teams say practically 700,000 principally Muslim Rohingya have fled Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh since August, after assaults on safety forces by Rohingya militants sparked a navy crackdown that the United Nations has known as ethnic cleaning.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar rejects the cost, saying its safety forces launched a authentic counter-insurgency operation in response to Rohingya militant assaults.
Duterte final week stated the Philippines was keen to offer sanctuary for Rohingya fleeing what he known as “genocide”, a remark a Myanmar authorities spokesman stated confirmed he had no restraint and knew nothing about Myanmar.
However in remarks aimed toward Suu Kyi, Duterte clarified that and stated he was not interfering in what he known as Myanmar’s “civil warfare”.
“I’ll apologize to you, however in case you have observed my assertion was virtually a satire,” he advised reporters.
“I’m not able to intervene in your (inner affairs).”
The Philippines and Myanmar are members of the 10-member Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a inflexible coverage on non-interference on one another’s affairs.
Duterte, who brooks no criticism from what he sees as hypocritical western powers, stated he was talking towards European international locations which had accused Myanmar of rampant human rights violations, however did little to assist the Rohingya.
“Do you may have any plans of offering a protected sanctuary even for a second for many who are actually the victims of warfare?” he stated, referring to European states.
He additionally urged them to offer “non permanent aid” to the refugees and stated he would do the identical.
“I’m prepared to just accept my share of duty within the identify of humanity,” he stated.
There was no quick response to request for remark from the Philippine international ministry.
Reporting By Manuel Mogato, Extra reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Enhancing by Martin Petty and Nick Macfie