Tillerson Defers New Myanmar Sanctions Despite ‘Horrific’ Scenes

  • Secretary of State announced $47 million more to aid Rohingya
  • Aung San Suu Kyi denies silence on Rohingya refugee crisis

Rohingya refugees wait for food aid at Thankhali refugee camp in Bangladesh's Ukhia district on Nov. 14.

Photographer: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. doesn’t believe broad-based economic sanctions against Myanmar would help resolve a crisis that has seen more than 600,000 minority Muslim Rohingya refugees flee to neighboring Bangladesh since August.

Speaking after a meeting with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyidaw on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. remained committed to Myanmar’s democratic transition.

“Broad-based economic sanctions against the entire country is not something that I think would be advisable at this time,” Tillerson said. “We want to see Myanmar succeed."

Suu Kyi said it was most important to bring peace and stability Myanmar, but that should only be done on the basis of rule of law. The Nobel laureate and former political prisoner rejected widespread accusations that she hasn’t done enough to protect the Rohingya.

“I don’t know why people say I have been silent, I haven’t been silent,” Suu Kyi said. She added that her comments were not meant to be exciting, but accurate.

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