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Tillerson to meet Myanmar general, stress need to stop violence: State Department official

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi alongside the ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

YANGON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will focus on the need to stop the violence and stabilise Rakhine state when he meets with the head of Myanmar’s military on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told journalists in Manila.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since the military launched a counter-insurggency clearance operation in Rakhine late August. A top U.N. official has described it as “ethnic cleansing” by Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Tillerson was due to hold talks in with Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar’s less that two year old civilian administration, and the head of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in the capital Naypyitaw in a bid to stem the refugee crisis.

Reporting by Yimou Lee and Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Nick Macfie