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  1. ITV Report

Pope Francis explains why he omitted Rohingya from Myanmar speech

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers

The Pope has defending his public silence in Myanmar over the plight of Rohingya refugees, saying a public condemnation would have "slammed the door in the face" of his hosts and prevented his overall message from being heard.

Pope Francis told reporters on Saturday he chose instead to speak in general terms about human rights in public so that he could speak more frankly in private.

Speaking en route home from Myanmar and Bangladesh, he said he was "very, very satisfied" that his message had been received in his private meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's powerful military chief, General Min Aung Hlaing.

He said: "It's true I didn't have the pleasure of slamming the door in their face publicly with a denunciation. But I had the satisfaction of dialogue, and letting the other side dialogue, and in this way the message arrived."