Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called on Muslim countries to lead international action over the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.
Mr Razak made the comments in an opening statement to members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gathering in Kuala Lumpur.
The OIC is made up of 57 countries with large or majority-Muslim populations.
It is holding the emergency session to discuss what it says is a humanitarian crisis faced by the Myanmar minority.
Approximately 65,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state since Burmese soldiers began intensive counter-terrorism operations there in October.
Describing the situation as “a cause of great and immediate concern”, Mr Najib said: “Far too many people have lost their lives in Myanmar. Many have suffered appalling deaths, and those that have lived through the atrocities have witnessed or endured unspeakable cruelty. That in itself is a reason why we cannot keep silent.”
The situation also threatens to create “a new home for terrorist groups”, he said, as “militant elements could infiltrate and possibly radicalise this oppressed community”.