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updated: 11/21/2013 7:48 AM

Myanmar government: U.N. can't force Rohingya citizenship

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Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar -- A Myanmar government spokesman says the country will not be pressured by a U.N. resolution calling on it to grant citizenship to members of the Muslim ethnic minority that identify themselves as Rohingya.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut insisted on his Facebook page Thursday that the government does not recognize Rohingya as a group, referring to them instead as Bengalis.

He said Bengalis who are legally qualified will be granted citizenship, but pressure will not force the government to make unqualified people citizens.

The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee passed a resolution on Tuesday urging Myanmar to give the stateless Rohingya equal access to citizenship and to crack down on Buddhist violence against them and other Muslims.

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