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Boris Johnson discusses Rohingya, elections in Thailand

AP  |  Bangkok 

British Boris Johnson met today with and other Thai officials and discussed neighbouring Myanmar's of ethnic Rohingya Muslims and plans for elections in to end military rule.

Details of his discussion with Prayuth were not immediately available.

Thai Don Pramudwinai, who also met with Johnson, told reporters that the is especially concerned about the plight of the Rohingya.

About 700,000 members of the Muslim minority have fled to to escape violence by security forces that has been characterised by some human rights experts as ethnic cleansing.

Johnson is in after visiting Bangladesh, where he met Rohingya refugees, and Myanmar, where he held talks on the Rohingya situation with the country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

In Myanmar, Johnson also visited areas in the western state of Rakhine, the site of the violence that drove the Rohingya to flee.

Plans to repatriate the Rohingya have been made by and Myanmar, but are a major concern of the international community. Human rights advocates insist that any repatriation be carried out under verifiably safe conditions.

"Shocked at what I saw during tour of northern #Rakhine," Johnson wrote on

"The devastation of hundreds of villages torched. UK already a major donor to crisis and will continue to use our influence to provide a better future for the #Rohingya community."

"In the eyes of the right now, they are putting an emphasis on fixing the issue of Rohingya in state, first and foremost," Don said, adding that Britain did not ask for the Thai government's help in the matter.

seized power from an elected government in 2014. Boris Johnson's visit today follows a decision last December to ease political sanctions on imposed after the coup.

Don said Johnson was not concerned by the ruling junta's most recent election date postponement, after several earlier promised deadlines for a return to an elected government passed.

"They are not pressuring Thailand to hold elections because they do not see it as having any impact on England," Don said.

Johnson's visit to Thailand came after an official visit last Friday by Italy's foreign minister, and will be followed by the French tomorrow.

said last Friday that the trips are a sign of improved relations between Thailand and European nations following the EU's easing of sanctions.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 16:25 IST