U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized Myanmar's military for the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in a meeting with the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday, and said he was keen to hear that those responsible for the violence would be held accountable.
"The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without excuse," he 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.
"I am anxious to hear the progress that you are making of holding those accountable who are responsible for the violence that displaced so many hundreds of thousands and created such suffering, including the loss of life," he added.
He said Washington was also keen to hear about progress in making it possible for the Rohingya to voluntarily return to the western Myanmar state of Rakhine from vast refugees camps in southern Bangladesh where they now live.
The United States has accused the military of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority who are widely reviled in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. U.N.-mandated investigators have accused the military of unleashing a campaign of killings, rape and arson with "genocidal intent".