Diplomats who toured Myanmar's Rakhine want access for aid

A group of 20 foreign diplomats who visited Myanmar's Rakhine state, where half a million ethnic Rohingya Muslims fled recent violence, have urged the government to allow access by humanitarian groups and by a United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of human rights violations.

But the president's office spokesman, Zaw Htay, told The Associated Press on Tuesday the government will stick by its earlier decision to bar the U.N. mission. It has said the group, assembled after similar violence last October, is interfering in Myanmar's affairs.

The diplomats, taken Monday on a guided government tour of the affected area, said in a joint statement that there is a dire need for humanitarian aid.