Burma

Myanmar Junta Foreign Minister Barred From ASEAN Meeting

By AFP 3 February 2022

Myanmar’s junta suffered a fresh diplomatic blow on Thursday when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) barred regime foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin from an upcoming meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers.

Cambodia, the current chair of the regional bloc, said that there hadn’t been enough progress on the five-point consensus agreed by ASEAN leaders to try and find a political solution to the crisis in Myanmar sparked by the junta’s coup.

“Since there has been little progress in carrying out ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, the ASEAN member states did not reach a consensus to invite Myanmar’s foreign minister to participate in the upcoming foreign ministers’ retreat,” said Cambodia’s foreign ministry spokesman Chum Sounry.

“We have asked Myanmar to send a non-political representative instead,” added Chum Sounry.

The snub comes after ASEAN took the unprecedented step of barring coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing from a summit in October. It was a rare rebuke by the regional bloc, which is seeking to lead diplomatic efforts to resolve the turmoil in Myanmar.

The military regime is increasingly isolated on the international stage, with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s January visit to the capital Naypyitaw the first by any foreign leader since the Myanmar military seized power.

Over 1,500 civilians have been killed by junta forces and almost 12,000 people detained since the coup in February last year.

In a statement on Wednesday, ASEAN called for an immediate end to violence and for its special envoy to be allowed to visit Myanmar soon.

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