Iranian FM Raps World's Silence on Plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

"They [the Myanmar government] can not ignore the voice of 1.6 billion people", Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told a press conference at the end of the meeting, referring to the total population of the OIC's 57 member states.

Inaugurating the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the worldwide community can not remain silent at the continued suffering of the Rohingya Muslims.

The Meeting called on the Government of Myanmar to ensure an inclusive and transparent policy towards ethnic and religious communities, by including the Rohingya Muslim Minority as an integral part of this process and considering them as an ethnic minority, as called for by relevant UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions.

A decision to allow the aid mission to enter the country would help create a more positive image of Myanmar, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said at the OIC meeting, the country's New Straits Times reported.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, delivering a speech at the meeting, warned that the violence must end, or militants including the Islamic State group could infiltrate and radicalise the Rohingya. "For a start, the killing must stop", the Malaysian leader said.

Bangladesh government says 65,000 Myanmar citizens crossed the border following an army crackdown launched over terror attacks on the country's border police in the Rakhine State last October.

The ongoing troubles in the Rakhine state had caused thousands of Rohingya to flee Myanmar with reports of atrocities, including rape and murder.

The resolution called for immediate involvement of Muslim countries as well as the rest of the global community to initiate a process of reconciliation in Myanmar.

"The persecution of your fellow men and women, simply on the grounds that they are Muslim, must stop", he said. "It is incumbent on us all to do what we can to save them from the humanitarian tragedy they are suffering", he said.

In her capacity as foreign minister, leader Aung San Suu Kyi refused to meet with her Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman a year ago to discuss the Rohingya issue.

Rohingya have faced discrimination in Myanmar for generations.

Najib added that Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya - tens of thousands of whom have languished in displacement camps since communal riots in 2012 - was a "stain" on the 10-member Southeast Asian regional bloc ASEAN.

The OIC member states urged the secretary general to engage more with Myanmar, the United Nations and worldwide and regional organisations to address the humanitarian situation and to find a durable solution.

Foreign ministers of OIC member states in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday.

The plight of the Rohingya has put Myanmar's democracy champion and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi under huge worldwide pressure. She has long insisted that the Rakhine state issue is an internal matter.

  • Jon Douglas