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

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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.

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.

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

Rae will be travelling to Da Nang, the site of the APEC summit, where he will brief Trudeau ahead of the prime minister’s meeting with Suu Kyi.

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

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