UK Says Myanmar Junta Not Invited to G7-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

By The Irrawaddy 21 October 2021

The Myanmar regime will not be invited to attend the upcoming G7-ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in person, the UK said on Tuesday. The UK is serving as the G7’s host nation this year.

It’s the second time the country’s military rulers have been shunned by the international community.

Last week the regime’s leader Min Aung Hlaing was excluded from the invitation list for a forthcoming summit organized by ASEAN, the Southeast Asian regional bloc of which Myanmar is a member, over the regime’s failure to implement steps agreed with the group in an effort to resolve the political crisis sparked by the military’s takeover in February.

In the British Parliament this week, Amanda Milling MP, the Foreign Office’s minister of state for Asia, replied to another lawmaker’s question as to whether the foreign minister of Myanmar will be attending the G7 ASEAN Foreign Ministers 2021 meeting.

Milling said the UK has invited ASEAN to the G7 Foreign and Development Ministerial Meeting in Liverpool in December as “a demonstration of our commitment to ASEAN and the Indo Pacific region.”

“The UK has been clear that the military regime in Myanmar is not welcome to attend in person. We note ASEAN’s decision not to invite Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit,” she said.

The MP said the UK government condemned the military coup in Myanmar, the regime’s violence against its people and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.

“The UK will continue to work closely with ASEAN on our shared ambition of ending the crisis in Myanmar,” she added.

ASEAN has tried to mediate Myanmar’s bloody post-coup political crisis by appointing a special envoy for the country. But the regime has refused to collaborate with him, rejecting his request to meet with all of the key stakeholders in the country, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma Campaign UK welcomed the British government’s statement on not inviting the junta to the meeting but expressed concern that this still leaves open the possibility that the military could attend via video call.

The British government has acted positively in its response to the coup by identifying and sanctioning sources of revenue to the military, and encouraging more countries to introduce arms embargos. The UK has brought in more rounds of targeted sanctions than any other country.

Anna Roberts, executive director of Burma Campaign UK, said not being invited to the G7 ASEAN summit in the UK was another blow to the efforts of the Myanmar military to gain international legitimacy following the coup.

“We urge them not to allow the military to take part via video link either. The military have no legitimacy as the representative of Burma [Myanmar] and should have no place at international diplomatic meetings,” she said.

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