Pence presses Myanmar's Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters journalists


He also said that the repatriation process could also be deferred from Thursday if deemed necessary.

"We hope we will be able to confirm tomorrow morning (Thursday) how many we are taking", he said.

Kalam said about 2,260 refugees from 485 families would be sent back in an initial group.

"Forcibly expelling or returning refugees and asylum seekers to their home country would be a clear violation of the core legal principle of non-refoulement, which forbids repatriation where there are threats of persecution or serious risks to the life and physical integrity or liberty of the individuals", Bachelet added.

"I will not go".

On whether he spoke to Suu Kyi directly, the premier said: "I spoke directly but not on that issue".

Mahathir, the outspoken leader of Malaysia - a majority Muslim country - also appealed to Myanmar to accept Rohingya as citizens. "They will kill us if we go back".

The Bangladesh government has also asserted that only refugees whom UNHCR have found to have expressed a genuine wish to return will be doing so. "We have our land, we have our homes", he said.

New Zealand is offering to help Myanmar resolve the crisis involving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Bangladesh, which had been sheltering another 400,000 Rohingyas prior to the fresh exodus, has urged the United Nations and the global community to put pressure on Myanmar to guarantee the safe and dignified return of the refugees. Hence, with all major Asia-Pacific nations being in attendance; and with Myanmar having extremely cordial relations with China, India, and Japan respectively; then it was a great opportunity to remind nations about the abundant opportunities that await.

Canada is raising concerns over reports that Rohingya refugees will soon return to Myanmar - the country in which they have been targets of what has been officially declared a genocide.

The pair discussed development assistance to improve the wellbeing, and standard of living, of people who remained in Rakhine State. "[Myanmar is] still clearly denying fundamental rights of Rohingyas", he said.

He told several reporters that the conflict between the Rohingya and Myanmar's government is not resolved, and "so many" Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine are flattened that there is no place to go back to. "Returns, in this context, would not be safe, dignified or sustainable", she said. "Nobody can claim today that the security in Rakhine is so well established that people can return safely".

US Vice President Mike Pence told Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday that the treatment of her country's stateless Rohingya Muslim population was inexcusable.

Over half a million Rohingya- a Muslim minority group in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar-poured into Bangladesh in 2016 and 2017, fleeing brutal scorched-earth campaigns waged by the Myanmar military in the wake of attacks by Rohingya insurgents.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay did not answer calls seeking comment on the summit message.

"Refugees have stated repeatedly that they do not wish to return under current conditions. They are checking the ID cards of Rohingya".