Israel reprimands Myanmar ambassador over arms sale comment

By FRONTIER

The Israeli foreign affairs ministry says it has “rebuked” the Myanmar ambassador for saying that Israel was selling weapons to his country, media reports said.

In a November 30 statement in which it declared that Israel “is not selling weapons” to Myanmar, the ministry said ambassador U Maung Maung Lynn had apologised and retracted a statement made in an interview earlier that day with Israel’s Army Radio.

Maung Maung Lynn said in the interview that Israel had signed a new contract to provide weapons to Myanmar since be became ambassador in August 2016, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“The Myanmar ambassador apologised and retracted his statement concerning the sale of Israeli weapons to his country,” the foreign ministry statement said.

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“The ambassador was also rebuked several days previously for a similar remark. Israel is not selling arms to Myanmar,” added the statement, which said the reprimand was delivered by the ministry’s deputy director general for Asia and Pacific Affairs, Mr Gilad Cohen.

It was the second time in just over a month that the ministry had issued a statement denying arms sales to Myanmar, the Jerusalem Post said.

In October, the ministry issued a statement saying it “vigorously denies false reports disseminated in the media regarding its alleged involvement in the tragedy in the Rakhine region of Myanmar”.

That statement followed a report by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that said “Israel sold advanced weapons to Myanmar during its anti-Rohingya ethnic cleansing campaign”, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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