Thailand to meet with 17 countries on Rohingya problem

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BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has invited 17 countries in the region to a meeting on the problem of Rohingya illegal immigrants on 29 May 2015.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sek Wannamethi said Minister of Foreign Affairs Thanasak Patimapagorn had confirmed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Thailand had taken care of Rohingya refugees in line with humanitarian principles. Thailand would not force them out of the country, the spokesman said.

Thailand provided food, water and petrol oil for a group of Rohingya people straying in the sea on 15 May 2015 off Satun province, said the spokesman. The immigrants told Thai authorities that they wanted to travel to another country.

Mr. Sek aded that Thailand was ready to take care of Rohingya immigrants and allow them to stay at temporary refugee camps. Thailand needed to abide by its laws otherwise other immigrants might try to enter the country illegally.

The spokesman expressed his belief that all 17 countries would send their representatives to attend the meeting where they were expected to learn about concrete guidelines to tackle the problems of Rihingya illegal immigrants and human trafficking.