Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu to meet Myanmar’s Muslim minority in Arakan
Emine Kart - ANKARATurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit Rakhine (Arakan) state in northwest Myanmar, which is predominantly inhabited by Muslim Rohingyas, during a visit to the Southeast Asian country that begins June 12.
The June 12-14 visit marks the first official talks with the new Myanmar government.
Çavuşoğlu will meet with the State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Htin Kyaw and Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Çavuşoğlu will also visit the Thayet Turkish Cemetery and meet Muslims in the Rakhine State in Myanmar.
“While trying to improve bilateral relations as a fundamental policy, our country has also exerted efforts at bilateral and multilateral platforms in order to improve the situation of Muslims in Myanmar,” a Turkish diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News on June 12.
“On the other hand, our country has made an effort to bring humanitarian aid to displaced people who are in a difficult situation,” said the diplomatic source, speaking under customary condition of anonymity.
“Improving and diversifying bilateral relations with Myanmar in every field, especially in economic relations, matters. There is a belief that the visit which Mr. Minister will pay to Myanmar will be useful in this respect,” the source said.
After the Turkish Embassy to Myanmar began operations in March 2012, then-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who recently stepped down as prime minister, paid the first high-level visit from Turkey to the country, visiting in 2012 and 2013.
In November 2013, Davutoğlu was accompanied by a delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) during his visit.
“Myanmar has accepted, perhaps for the first time in its history, such a visit from an international delegation and opened Arakan. This is a positive step, hopefully we will continue our efforts to relieve the pains of our brothers there,” Davutoğlu told reporters following his visit.