Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to discuss Rohingya migrant crisis

Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to discuss Rohingya migrant crisis
A rescued migrant is carried to a waiting ambulance upon his arrival at the new confinement area in the fishing town of Kuala Langsa in Aceh province

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysia is taking a diplomatic push with its ASEAN partners, Thailand and Indonesia, to engage with Myanmar in resolving the Rohingya migrant crisis.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said he would meet his Thai and Indonesian counterparts to work out a collective proposal under ASEAN and discuss it with Myanmar to resolve the issue.

"As ASEAN chairman, we will discuss in depth, so that this problem will be solved. I hope Myanmar will sit with us to find solutions before we take it to the international level.

"If necessary, we will call for an emergency ASEAN meeting as suggested by the Prime Minister,'' he said after meeting Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at the 4th Joint Commission Meeting between Malaysia and Bangladesh here on Sunday.

Anifah said he would be meeting the Indonesian Foreign Minister in Kota Kinabalu on Monday, and his Thai counterpart on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur.

He said a date would also be set for a meeting to discuss the next course of action in dealing with the escalating humanitarian crisis.

"We are concern about the conditions of the Rohingya boat people and are assisting through NGOs, but for now, we cannot take such a large group of refugees. There are no other countries willing to accept them as well,'' Anifah said.

On the meeting with Abul Hassan, Anifah said that both countries agreed to expand the MoU recruitment of workers to other sectors in Sarawak. Currently, the 2012 MoU between the two countries caters only for the plantation sector.

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