UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized for saying genocide happened in Myanmar.

Speaking in Davao on Friday, April 13, Duterte directed a message to Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Duterte said, “I will apologize to you, but if you have noticed my statement was almost a satire.”

On April 5, Duterte said Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims are victims of genocide.

Rohingya militants attacked police outposts in August, sparking a heavy response from Myanmar’s military.

Myanmar says security forces only targeted Rohingya militants, but refugees say troops killed many Rohingya civilians and burned their villages down.

The conflict forced around 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, where large refugees camps have been set up.

Duterte said Friday his genocide comment was supposed to be a criticism of European nations who accuse Myanmar of genocide but haven’t helped the Rohingya.