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Pope Francis has met Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi but avoided directly addressing the ongoing Rohingya crisis.

At the meeting in Yangon on Tuesday, the pontiff stressed the importance of Myanmar respecting the “identity” of all of its ethnic groups, without using the term “Rohingya”.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in fear of abuses by Myanmarese soldiers.

The ethnic group is subject to a raft of discriminatory measures by Myanmar’s government, such as being deprived of citizenship.

Having previously spoken against the “persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters,” the leader of the Roman Catholic Church had been advised by Myanmar’s archbishop not to use the word Rohingya.

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