Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to attend regional summits
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will attend two regional summits this month, state-run television announced Monday, amid growing international condemnation of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate over violence against a Muslim minority group allegedly orchestrated by the country’s security forces.
Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Suu Kyi would normally be expected to attend its Nov. 10-14 summit and related meetings in the Philippines as Myanmar’s de facto leader and foreign minister. However, in September she canceled plans to attend the U.N. General Assembly, a decision widely seen as a response to the criticism of the violence, which has sent more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh.
The televised announcement said Suu Kyi will also attend this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, although Myanmar is not a formal member of the regional group. It said she will attend at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam.
It did not say whether Suu Kyi would discuss the Rohingya crisis during the summits.
Security forces in Buddhist-majority Myanmar launched “clearance operations” against Rohingya on Aug. 25 in response to attacks by militant groups on police outposts. The campaign has included the burning of Rohingya villages and alleged widespread rights violations which the U.N. has described as “ethnic cleansing.”
In a September speech, her first public comments after the crisis began, Suu Kyi asked for patience from the international community and suggested that the fleeing Rohingya refugees were partly responsible.
The summits will be attended by world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump.