Philippines accepts Malaysia’s rejection of ASEAN statement

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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines says it respects Malaysia's decision to dissociate itself from a statement on Myanmar's Rakhine state issued by the Filipino chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Malaysia said Sunday the statement misrepresents the reality of the situation, omits reference to Rohingya Muslims and was not based on consensus — a rare public spat in ASEAN, which prides itself on consensus.

Manila's Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday the Philippines, as ASEAN chair, issued the statement taking into account sentiments of other members of the 10-member regional bloc and after consulting Malaysia.

The statement from the ASEAN chairman, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, condemned the attacks against Myanmar security forces and all acts of violence which resulted in civilian deaths and mass displacement of people.

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