DHAKA (AFP) - The Bangladesh government on Sunday rejected comments by Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi suggesting that stateless Muslim Rohingyas may be illegal Bangladeshi migrants. Suu Kyi said last week that illegal crossing of the shared border with Bangladesh had to be stopped “otherwise there will never be an end to the problem”. The foreign ministry in Dhaka said the Rohingya Muslims have been living in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine for centuries and they could not be Bangladeshi as the country was only founded in 1971.

“The Ministry wishes to express surprise at such comments since these are clearly at variance from the position of the Myanmar Government,” it said in a statement. “There is... no reason to ascribe Bangladesh nationality to these people,” it said, adding that since 1971 there had been influxes of Rohingya into Bangladesh from Myanmar due to “internal situations in their homeland”.