U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Affairs Anne Richard speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia Monday, June 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
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A senior U.S. official said Monday that resettlement in a third country is not the answer to the swelling tide of boat people in Southeast Asia and called for Myanmar to give citizenship to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution there.Since early May, more than 4,600 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been brought ashore from Southeast Asian waters.Richard said 18-24 months would be a more realistic time frame for the United States to resettle refugees.Richard earlier visited some 1,100 Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants who arrived in northern Malaysia by boats last month.Richard also said she was encouraged that Myanmar attended an emergency conference on the boat people in Bangkok that drew 17 regional countries on Friday.
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