ASEAN expresses disappointment with Burmese junta

ASEAN foreign ministers say they are disappointed by the reluctance of the Burmese army to accept the association’s special envoy.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations held an online foreign ministerial meeting on Monday to discuss a proposed visit to Myanmar by Brunei’s second foreign minister Erywan Yusof.

ASEAN chose him in August to mediate a dialogue between the Burmese army and the country’s pro-democracy camp.

In a press conference after the meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said she told her ASEAN counterparts that the special envoy is struggling to travel to Myanmar to meet with all parties, including including pro-democracy leaders.

She said the Myanmar military had not responded positively to the activity of the special envoy. She said most ASEAN members have expressed disappointment with the military.

The Indonesian minister said she hopes ASEAN leaders will discuss the issue to find a breakthrough when they meet later this month.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah tweeted that members were disappointed that the Myanmar authority “did not cooperate with the ASEAN president’s special envoy to Myanmar”.

More than five months have passed since ASEAN decided to send a special envoy to Myanmar following a coup in February. More than 1,100 people have been killed in the Burmese army’s crackdown on citizens.

It is still not clear what role ASEAN can play and how it can change the posture of the military.

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