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Wednesday November 22nd, 2017 12:12AM

The Latest: Trump backs safe return of refugees to Myanmar

By The Associated Press
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's trip to Asia:

7 a.m. (Hawaii time)

President Donald Trump says the U.S. supports efforts to end the violence in Myanmar, where more than 600,000 people have fled their homes following attacks by vigilantes and security forces.

Trump said in remarks Tuesday at the East Asia Summit in the Philippines that the U.S. also supports efforts "to ensure accountability for atrocities committed and to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of refugees."

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since August, when their homes were torched by Buddhist mobs and soldiers.

A Philippine official says Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has assured other Southeast Asian nations that her government is implementing a commission's recommendations.

The event wasn't open to the press. The president provided a copy of his prepared speech to reporters.

___

7 a.m. (Hawaii time)

President Donald Trump says he remains concerned about China's efforts "to build and militarize outposts in the South China Sea."

Speaking to world leaders at the East Asia Summit in the Philippines on Tuesday, Trump said the dispute is one of four security challenges that must be addressed to achieve his vision for a "free and open Indo-Pacific" region.

Trump says his vision will require all nations "to respect freedoms of navigation and overflight, and other lawful uses of the sea."

Trump also proposed that all summit members adopt a statement reaffirming their commitment to the elimination of chemical weapons.

Trump provided a copy of his speech to reporters traveling with him from Manila aboard Air Force One, which landed in Hawaii early Tuesday for a refueling stop.

___

8:40 a.m. (Manila time)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says he had a chance to talk briefly with President Donald Trump during the ASEAN summit dinner in Manila.

Asked about his impressions, Medvedev is quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Trump is "open and friendly," adding that it "was comfortable to discuss various subjects with him."

He added: "Among other things, we remembered the history of our relations with the U.S., WW II, some other issues."

Medvedev said Russia-U.S. relations are "at the lowest point in decades" and that "our relations have degraded day after day."

___

4:30 a.m. (Manila time)

President Donald Trump is heading back to Washington following a lengthy tour of Asia that he declared "tremendously successful."

Trump says the trip has put the world on notice that the "rules have changed" for countries that want to trade with the U.S.

Trump also says he'll make a "major statement" about trade and the trip later this week at the White House.

The president left Washington on Nov. 3 for a nearly two-week trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Trump also strategized with U.S. allies about the North Korean nuclear threat.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington
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