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Prince Charles Omits Myanmar from Upcoming Asia Tour

British media reports last month said the Foreign Office was considering including Myanmar on the tour, despite an ongoing military crackdown against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the country that the UN says amounts to ethnic cleansing.

AFP

Updated:October 5, 2017, 7:48 AM IST
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Prince Charles Omits Myanmar from Upcoming Asia Tour
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, take part in an official welcome ceremony at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly in Nunavut, Canada on June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)
London: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit Singapore, Malaysia and India this autumn, but not Myanmar, where violence has forced nearly 600,000 Muslim Rohingya to flee in the past year, royal officials announced on Wednesday.

Charles, heir to the British throne, and Camilla will depart for Asia on October 30 for an 11-day tour, on an itinerary intended to cement relations ahead of the Commonwealth Summit in Britain in April 2018.

British media reports last month said the Foreign Office was considering including Myanmar on the tour, despite an ongoing military crackdown against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the country that the UN says amounts to ethnic cleansing.

But unveiling details of the travel plans on Wednesday, Clarence House — the prince and duchess' official residence — made no reference to Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

A spokeswoman referred enquiries on the matter to the Foreign Office.

"(The) government makes decisions on royal visits based on recommendations from the Royal Visits Committee, taking into account advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

Mark Farmaner, director of non-governmental advocacy group Burma Campaign UK, welcomed the omission.

"It was a ridiculous suggestion from the Foreign Office... and we welcome the decision to drop Burma from the proposed schedule," he told the AFP.

During the upcoming tour Charles and Camilla will meet the prime ministers of Singapore and India, as well as senior dignitaries in Malaysia, which hosts a Commonwealth Summit in 2020.

"Their royal highnesses' visit, which is at the request of the British government, will celebrate the UK's partnership with these Commonwealth nations on shared priorities in advance of the Commonwealth Summit in April 2018," according to the statement released by Clarence House.

"The visits will highlight key themes including celebrating community, cultural diversity and promoting business innovation," it added.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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