US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi arrive for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore on November 14, 2018. (Photo by Bernat Armangue / POOL / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmars treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that persecution by her country’s army was without excuse.

He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore.

While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without excuse.

I am anxious to hear the progress that you are making of holding those accountable who are responsible for the violence that displaced so many hundreds of thousands and created such suffering, including the loss of life.

Mr Pence also called for the release of two journalists who were arrested nearly a year ago and sentenced in September to seven years in prison for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The Myanmar army launched a sweeping offensive in the north of Rakhine state in late August last year, in response to Rohingya militant attacks.

Myanmar denies persecuting members of the Muslim minority, saying its forces have carried out legitimate counterinsurgency operations.

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