By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — The statement recently issued by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on the crisis in the Rakhine state in Myanmar was made after consultations with Malaysia, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
Other ASEAN foreign ministers, however, were aware that Malaysia would dissociate itself from the statement on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
"ASEAN is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in the northern Rakhine State and since Malaysia has different views on some issues, out of respect for its position, we decided that instead of a Foreign Ministers Statement, we would issue a Chairman's Statement that would reflect the general statements of the other foreign ministers," the DFA said in a statement.
Malaysia has dissociated itself with the ASEAN chairman statement which omitted the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities in the so-called "clearance operations" efforts by Myanmar authorities.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Cayetano's statement was not based on consensus and that there was a "misrepresentation of the reality of the situation."
The DFA insisted that Cayetano's statement reflected the sentiments of the ASEAN foreign ministers who attended meetings about the issue on the sides of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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