A U.S. official visiting Bangladesh says Rohingya Muslims should be returned safely to their homes in Myanmar after they were forced to flee the country amid a brutal crackdown by Myanmar security forces.

Simon Henshaw, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, said Saturday that the U.S. would continue to support Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh because of persecution in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

He said Myanmar must ensure a safe and stable environment so that Rohingya can return home.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh since late August amid a crackdown that the U.N. has called "ethnic cleansing."

Bangladesh says it has sheltered the refugees only temporarily and they must go back to Myanmar.