Statement by the HR/VP on the situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar
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The situation in Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar is extremely serious and has our full attention. Today, I was in touch with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi, following her visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, and through our European Union Delegation in Yangon and elsewhere, we are in close contact with the authorities in Myanmar, in the region and beyond.
The European Union is committed to supporting the Government of Myanmar and all stakeholders in finding sustainable solutions towards lasting peace, stability and prosperity, for the benefit of the whole population.
As the European Union, we condemn the attacks on 25 August on Myanmar security forces in Northern Rakhine State and the subsequent violence, and we expect the perpetrators to be brought to justice in line with the rule of law. The security forces involved in ongoing operations have a duty to exercise maximum restraint and to protect unarmed civilians.
There is an urgent need for a de-escalation of tensions, on all sides, and for full observance of international human rights law. Unrestricted humanitarian access, including for aid workers, is essential in order to reach those who desperately need it. The European Union stands in solidarity with the Bangladeshi authorities, who have played a crucial humanitarian role in welcoming the refugees who have arrived as a result of the crisis.
The Government of Myanmar has committed to implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. This should be done without delay and with full determination. The European Union offers its full support in practical terms to the Government's implementation of the recommendations, which is the way to avoid the further deterioration of the situation and to move forward.