ISTANBUL – Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has offered to lend financial support for Bangladesh provided it opens its doors for violence-suffering Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.
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Speaking at a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Eid al-Adha celebration event in Antalya on Friday, the minister called for a permanent solution to the crisis.
‘We have also mobilized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We will hold a summit regarding the Rakhine state this year. We need to find a decisive and permanent solution to this problem,’ the minister noted.
The minister claimed that no other Muslim country was showing sensitivity towards massacre happening in Myanmar.
The foreign minister also deliberated over the crisis with former U.N. Secretary General and head of Advisory Commission on Rakhine State Kofi Annan, over a phone call.
Apart from the minister’s concerns, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also made several phone calls with Muslim leaders all over the world stressing the need for solving the crisis in Myanmar.
Erdoğan, who enjoys widespread popularity in the Muslim world has so far spoken with the heads of states of 13 countries on the occasion of Eid al-Adha to convey his concerns about the situation in Rakhine.
Myanmar’s Fresh Violence
The Buddhist-majority nation saw a fresh wave of intense violence in Rakhine state on August 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community.
It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards the neighboring Bangladesh but unfortunately, the country sealed off its border to refugees.
The recent deadliest violence in Myanmar’s north-west has so far claimed nearly 400 lives, with the army claiming it is conducting operations against “extremist terrorists”.
The region has witnessed tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.
By comparison, communal violence in 2012 in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, led to the killing of nearly 200 people and the displacement of about 140,000, most of them Rohingya.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, evacuated more than 11,700 “ethnic residents” from the area affected by fighting, the army said, referring to the non-Muslim population of northern Rakhine.
The treatment of Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by some Western critics of not speaking out for a minority that has long complained of persecution.