The Trump administration moved toward a condemnation of "ethnic cleansing" against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, as officials were preparing a recommendation for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to unequivocally use the term for the first time. Angry lawmakers on Tuesday demanded an immediate denunciation as they explored a new, tougher US policy.
"My bosses have said it appears to be ethnic cleansing. I'm of that view as well," said Patrick Murphy, a senior US diplomat for Southeast Asia, while adding that the final call wasn't his to make.
Tillerson could receive the recommendation to adopt such terminology as a matter of policy as early as this week, officials familiar with the process told The Associated Press. He would then decide whether to follow the advice of his agency's policy experts and lawyers, which would raise pressure on the US government to consider new sanctions on a country that had been lauded for its democratic transition.