US Vice President Mike Pence openly criticized violence by Myanmar's military against Rohingya Muslims on Wednesday, while meeting with leader Aung San Suu Kyi.>> The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingyan to Bangladesh is without excuse.>> The two were meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Summit in Singapore.
Suu Kyi responded to Pence by saying that people have different views.>> But the point is we should exchange these views and learn to understand each other better.>> Myanmar has said its operations in Rakhine State were a legitimate response to attacks on security forces by Rohingya insurgents last year.
Pence went on to tell Suu Kyi that millions of Americans are alarmed that Myanmar's jailing of two Reuters' journalists. Pence didn't mention the two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, by name, but did say, that Washington wanted to see a free and open media in Myanmar.
The reporters were arrested in Yangon in December last year. They were working on a Reuters investigation in to the killing of 10 Ryongingya Muslim villages during an army crack down in Rakhine State. Both were found guilty in September of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act. And sentenced to seven years in prison.
Pence's comments come of the back another high profile remark on the situation in Myanmar. On Tuesday, Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad accused Suu Kyi of court defending the indefensible.