Nov 18, 2012

Malaysia - Malaysia calls for greater Asean support in Myanmar issue

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PHNOM PENH: Malaysia has called for greater support from Asean member countries to address the humanitarian crisis, following a spate of sectarian violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia told the Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) here that it was concerned with the alarming humanitarian crisis there.

"Malaysia welcomed initiatives taken by the Myanmar Government in restoring peace and order in the Rakhine territory," he told Malaysian media after attending the AMM.

He said Myanmar had informed the meeting on steps that had been taken by its government, in overcoming the clash between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist there.

A total of 167 people were killed in the June and October clashes which also left more than 200 people injured, and more than 100,000 displaced.

On the South China Sea issue, Anifah said the meeting welcomed an indication that China was prepared to join negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC), a mechanism to implement the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) signed between Asean and China in 2002.

The COC is an important instrument in confidence-building, apart from diffusing tensions in territorial disputes claimed by China and four Asean countries, namely Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. Taiwan is another claimant.

"It is a matter of timing on when China will join the COC negotiation," said Anifah.

On the Palestinian issue raised at the meeting, he said the latest development in Gaza had shown the importance of Palestine's initiative in getting the observer status at the United Nations.

Malaysia, he said, supported the initiative as it could enable Palestine to seek greater support from the international community in addressing its plight.


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