For US Secretary of State, “broad economic sanctions . . . not advisable”

Washington remains cautions, differentiates between civilian government from military. The US will provide an additional US$ 47 million in humanitarian aid for refugees. China is dissatisfied with US involvement in Myanmar’s affairs. Aung San Suu Kyi answers her critics.

Naypyidaw (AsiaNews/Agencies) – For US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, sanctions will not solve the crisis in Rakhine.

Washington’s chief diplomat made the comment today at a press conference with Myanmar’s State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured) after meeting the country’s military and political leaders.

Tillerson reiterated the need for an independent investigation into the "credible" allegations of atrocities committed by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya ethnic minority in the western state of Rakhine.

“[B]road economic sanctions are not something that I’d think would be advisable at this time,” he said. “We want to see Myanmar succeed,” he added, but “You can’t just impose sanctions and say therefore the crisis is over.”

At the end of his one-day visit to Naypyidaw, Mr Tillerson said the United States would provide an additional US$ 47 million in humanitarian assistance for refugees, bringing the total to US$ 87 million since the start of the crisis.

Washington has played an important role in Myanmar’s transition to democracy, but remains cautious about condemning its government over the Rohingya crisis.

For this reason, the US has made a distinction between the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and the military, which controls the country’s security.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, US senators are pressing for economic sanctions and travel restrictions against the Myanmar military and its business interests because of their role in the exodus of 600,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

For its part, China is showing some signs of despondency towards US position vis-à-vis Myanmar’s military, its historic ally and recipient of important investments.

Likewise, at the press conference, Ms Suu Kye reacted to harsh criticism from the international community over her handling of the humanitarian emergency in Rakhine.

“I have not been silent . . . what people mean is what I say is not interesting enough,” she told reporters. “What I say is not meant to be exciting, it’s meant to be accurate . . . not set people against each other.”