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The United States, France, Britain and six other countries on the United Nations Security Council have called for a meeting on Myanmar that is expected to face opposition from China, diplomats said.


The meeting requested for next week would be to hear a report from UN envoy Christine Schraner Burgener, who last month paid a 12-day visit to Myanmar to discuss the plight of Rohingya refugees.

Around 740,000 Muslim Rohingya are living in camps in Bangladesh after they were driven out of Myan­mar’s northern Rakhine state during a military campaign in 2017 that the UN has described as ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar has agreed to take back some of the refugees in a deal reached with Bangladesh, but the UN insists that the safety of the Rohingya be a condition for their return.

 

Schraner Burgener, a Swiss diplomat, has made four visits to Myan­mar since her appointment in April last year, but appears to have returned empty-handed each time.

Belgium, Germany, Poland, Kuw­ait, Peru and the Dominican Rep­ublic joined the three veto-holding powers to push the council to turn its attention to Myanmar.

Diplomats said China was expected to raise objections but it rem­ained unclear whether it would seek to block the meeting with a procedural vote.

Nine votes are required in the 15-member council to hold a meeting and vetoes do not apply.

The Chinese mission at the UN did not respond to a request for comment.

In October, China failed to win enough support at the council to block a report from the head of the UN fact-finding mission in Myan­mar.

China, which has close ties with Myanmar’s military, has argued that the Rakhine crisis is linked to poverty and has opposed any step to put pressure on the authorities.

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