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Myanmar gets praise for openness

  |   Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:24 PM
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The United Nations welcomed the visit by a Turkish official and the OIC to Myanmar to examine religious issues in Rakhine state, an envoy said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met with officials in Myanmar last week.

Myanmar's government said Davutoglu agreed to contribute $50 million in humanitarian assistance to the state. The government added the OIC was invited to visit Rakhine to witness the situation firsthand.

Vijay Nambiar, a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said he welcomed Turkish and OIC support for Myanmar's reform processes.

"This has demonstrated the willingness of the Myanmar government to cooperate with the international community to alleviate the suffering of its people," he said in a statement.

Myanmar embraced a series of political reforms following general elections in 2010, which marked a transition from military leadership. Praise for democratization coincided with concerns from members of the international about the security and human rights situation, however.

Violence erupted along Myanmar's coastal area in June after the alleged rape and killing of a Buddhist woman. Buddhists retaliated by attacking Muslims. The United Nations estimates at least 78 people were killed during the clashes.

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