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Several members called for an open meeting on “the catastrophe that is befalling Rakhine state and the Rohingya there.”  — AFP Photo/File
Several members called for an open meeting on “the catastrophe that is befalling Rakhine state and the Rohingya there.” — AFP Photo/File

The United Nations (UN) Security Council condemned the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that has led more than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh and called for immediate steps to end the violence.

Britain's UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said that the press statement on Wednesday that followed close door consultations, was the first statement the UN's most powerful body has made in nine years on the situation in Myanmar.

The council expressed concern at reports of excessive violence during security operations by Myanmar.

It also called for a de-escalation of the situation, reestablishment of law and order, protection of civilians and a resolution of the refugee problem.

The Security Council welcomed Bangladesh's efforts to help the refugees as well as support from the UN and other international efforts.

Rycroft said several members called for an open meeting on what he called “the catastrophe that is befalling Rakhine state and the Rohingya there.”

The members also called for a presidential statement from the Security Council that would become part of its official record, unlike press statements.