Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has decided not to attend the United Nations General Assembly session later this month, the Irrawaddy news site reported Tuesday.
The decision comes as Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is facing intense scrutiny over her response to the plight of her country's Rohingya Muslims.
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying Suu Kyi has domestic issues to focus on and that Vice President Henry Van Thio will lead Myanmar's delegation to the U.N. session.
Rakhine State, bordering Bangladesh, has been the focus of major conflicts and clashes starting in 2012 between the majority Buddhist population and a growing minority group of Muslims who call themselves Rohingya.
The plight of the Rohingya people in Rakhine has gained unprecedented international attention in recent months, following military operations responding to coordinated attacks by suspected Rohingya in October last year on border guard outposts that left nine security personnel dead.