Police patrol in Burma's Rakhine state. Pic: AP.

YANGON, Burma (AP) — A visiting U.S. State Department official has urged Burma’s government to quickly facilitate the return of international aid organizations to the western state of Rakhine, where tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims face acute shortages of water, food and medical care.

Assistant Secretary of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel met with President Thein Sein and other top government officials during his two-day trip ending Thursday.

He said his main focus was the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine. Almost all foreign aid workers left the state after their residences and offices were attacked by ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, who oppose the groups’ efforts to help the long-persecuted Rohingya community.

The government vowed Wednesday to aid international humanitarian aid organization’s return.

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