Trudeau to meet with Myanmar leader Suu Kyi at APEC summit Friday

Bob Rae, PM's special envoy to Myanmar, also heading to summit

November 10, 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader of Myanmar and an honorary Canadian citizen, meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his office on Parliament Hill in June. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi Friday on the sidelines of the APEC leaders' summit in Vietnam, the Prime Minister's Office has confirmed.

The meeting comes as the southeast Asian country faces a refugee crisis and accusations of gross human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority population in the predominately Buddhist nation.


Trudeau spoke to Suu Kyi in September amid questions about her leadership at a time when many were accusing the country's military of carrying out ethnic cleansing against this long-persecuted group.

During that call, Trudeau "stressed the particular importance of the state counsellor as a moral and political leader," according to a readout.

Last month, Trudeau announced the appointment of former Ontario premier Bob Rae as his special envoy to Myanmar.

Rae is also in Vietnam and will brief Trudeau in Da Nang ahead of the prime minister's meeting with Suu Kyi.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled from Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh in the face of violence and torture — the UN International Organization for Migration puts the number at above 600,000 — while thousands of others have been confined to squalid camps.

Some leaders in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, maintain the Rohingya migrated illegally from Bangladesh, though many Rohingya families have lived in Myanmar for generations.

The APEC summit begins Friday in Da Nang.


John Paul Tasker
Parliamentary Bureau

John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. He can be reached at john.tasker@cbc.ca.

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