ASTANA Sept 10 (TNS): Immediate halt to violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and addressing the problem of the refugees in the country should become a collective goal followed by all Islamic nations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
‘A major tragedy is underway in Myanmar,’ President Rouhani said during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Kazakh capital Astana.
Rouhani is in Kazakhstan to participate in a special meeting by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Astana over the Rohingya crisis.
The Iranian President stressed immediate addressing of the issue of the Muslim refugees who are fleeing Myanmar to find shelter in the neighboring countries.
Iran will soon dispatch its humanitarian aid to the crisis-stricken Muslims in Myanmar, Rouhani said, adding that cooperation between the Islamic countries, particularly Iran and Turkey can be effective solve the problem.
Rouhani went on to say that Iran, Turkey and all Islamic nations should put pressure on Myanmar government to stop violence against Muslims.
The Iranian President further hoped that the Sunday OIC meeting in the Kazakh capital would give a clear message to those who are the cause of the violence in Myanmar.
Turning to the issue of bilateral ties between Iran and Turkey, Rouhani said Tehran and Ankara should try to foster greater economic relations.
Rouhani stressed that the two neighboring countries are determined to develop relations.
He added that the July 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the major world powers and the removal of anti-Iran sanctions have prepared the ground for Tehran-Ankara cooperation to get on the fast track.
Rouhani also underlined the importance of developing bilateral banking ties between the two nations to help trade exchanges to reach 30 billion dollars annually.
Referring to the future visit of the Turkish President to Iran, Rouhani expressed hope that Erdogan’s trip would lead to further bilateral and regional cooperation.
Describing Tehran and Ankara as two influential countries in the region, particularly in the fight against terrorism, Rouhani expressed hoped for the two nations, along with Russia, to help promote the establishment of peace and security in Syria as soon as possible.
‘Terrorism is on the verge of demise,’ Rouhani said. I hope for Iran and Turkey to have good cooperation in countering extremism, terrorism and violence, he said.
The Iranian President also said that both Tehran and Ankara are trying to establish stability across borderlines in the region while they remain to protect territorial integrity of their neighbors.
‘Any change in borderlines is going to trigger big tensions and it is not going to be to the benefit of regional nations,’ he said.
Rouhani’s visit to Kazakhstan aims not only to establish scientific and technical cooperation among Muslims but to create unity among Islamic Ummah to help Myanmar Muslims, Iranian vice-president Hesamoddin Ashna said in a twitter message on Saturday.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have been subject to brutal ethnic cleansing in the past two years. Prior to the 2015 Rohingya refugee crisis and the military crackdown in 2016 and 2017, the Rohingya population in Myanmar was around 1.1 to 1.3 million. They reside mainly in the northern Rakhine townships. NNI