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Iranian, Indonesian Presidents Discuss Myanmar Crisis

December 14, 2016

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo discussed a range of issues at a meeting in Tehran, including the need for peaceful settlement of a conflict in Myanmar that has killed and displaced a large number of Rohingya Muslims since 2012. 

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Widodo, President Rouhani said Iran and Indonesia, as two members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with close bonds, have agreed to boost cooperation to address the challenges the Islamic world is facing, such as the conflict in Myanmar, or the situation in West Asia, as in Syria and Yemen.

“Resolution of these problems can deepen regional stability and security” in the West and East Asia, the Iranian president added.

He noted that his talks with the visiting Indonesia president covered economic, academic and cultural collaborations as well.

Highlighting the “strategic relations” between Tehran and Jakarta in the energy industry, President Rouhani said Iran can meet Indonesia’s demands for crude oil, liquefied gas and petrochemical products, and voiced Tehran’s readiness to implement engineering projects in the Southeast Asian country for construction of power plants, dams or water facilities.

For his part, the Indonesian president unveiled plans for Iranian investment in the construction of oil refineries and power plants in Indonesia.

Widodo also underlined the need for peaceful approaches to settling the crises in Myanmar, Yemen and Syria, highlighting Indonesia’s peace-loving role and support for dialogue with peaceful purposes as the only way out of conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

In Myanmar, there has been a harsh crackdown against Myanmar Muslims in the Rakhine state, who have suffered ethnic violence since 2012

The Rohingya are seen by many Myanmar Buddhists as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Some 125,000 remain displaced and face severe travel restrictions in squalid camps since Buddhists in Rakhine launched a campaign of violence against Muslims in 2012.

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