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Pope Francis says "Rohingya" on last day in Bangladesh

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Pope Francis waves from his vehicle as he travels to the airport in Yangon

"In the name of all those who persecute you, who have persecuted you, and those who have hurt you, above all in the indifference of the world, I ask you for forgiveness", the Pope said.

"For me, the most important thing is that message gets through, to try to say things one step at a time and listen to the responses", he said.

In calls for peace in Myanmar, he did not use the word Rohingya to describe members of the Muslim minority.

Despite his apparent sympathy toward Suu Kyi's tenuous position in dealing with the Burmese military, Francis said he made sure his true feelings were known in private, especially during his meeting Monday with the general, who is responsible for what the army says are "clearance operations" against Rohingya militants in Rakhine.

A deadly attack by Rohingya militants on police posts in late August sparked a ferocious crackdown in Rakhine State by the Myanmar military, which the U.S. and United Nations describe as "ethnic cleansing".

The Rohingya are a minority ethnic group that has been denied basic rights for decades in the majority Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which views them as immigrants from Bangladesh, despite the fact that many families have lived in Myanmar for generations.

"The presence of God today is also called Rohingya", he said after meeting refugees brought to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka from Cox's Bazaar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have settled after fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

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The refugees had traveled so far and been through so much that Pope Francis said he could not just let them shake his hand and be whisked away, as some event organizers seemed to think was proper. I yelled a bit.

He added: "They wept too". He also apologized for all they had suffered.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Myanmar, on the Thai-Myanmar border, as foreign investment enhances development in Myanmar, refugees and IDPs on the border areas are facing the harsh reality of diminished aid from worldwide donors groups.

Speaking to reporters en route home from Myanmar and Bangladesh, Francis 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, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. Pope Francis responded that people must take into account the challenges that are part of Myanmar's transition from military rule to democracy.

"We should be recognised as bona-fide citizens of Myanmar, we should be assured life-long security, we should be allowed to pursue higher education, only then we can go back", said the woman's husband.

And, he said, "I never lose hope". Francis waited until he arrived in neighbouring Bangladesh to demand the worldwide community intervene to resolve the crisis and help Bangladesh cope with the influx of more than 620,000 refugees fleeing a military crackdown in Rakhine state.

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