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Pence tells Suu Kyi persecution of Rohingya inexcusable Pence tells Suu Kyi persecution of Rohingya inexcusable
US Vice President Mike Pence told Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi today that the violence and persecution by her country's military and vigilantes that sent more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh was inexcusable and also asked her to pardon two Reuters journalists jailed in her country.
Pence told Suu Kyi in a brief meeting with the media before they went into private talks on the sidelines of a Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore that the United States was anxious to hear of progress in holding people accountable for the Rohingya crisis.
Pence also said that Washington wanted to see a free and democratic press in Myanmar, and the jailing of two journalists last year was "deeply troubling" for millions of Americans.
Pardon Reuters journalists
US Vice President Mike Pence pressed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi "multiple times" to pardon two Reuters journalists jailed in her country, a senior White House official said.
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in Yangon in December 2017. They were found guilty in September of breaching the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Pence met Suu Kyi on the sidelines of an Asia summit in Singapore.
"He raised the case of two Reuters journalists in particular and raised the request that a pardon could be made," a senior White House official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "They had a very candid exchange of views on that."
The White House official said Pence urged Suu Kyi directly to pardon the Reuters journalists "multiple times."
The official declined to comment on Suu Kyi's response in the closed-door meeting.
Lawyers for the two Reuters reporters have lodged an appeal against their conviction.
At the time of their arrest in December, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim villagers during an army crackdown in Rakhine state.