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Myanmar a no-show at summit after ASEAN sidelines junta boss

  • Myanmar a check for ASEAN’s credibility – Thai PM
  • Malaysia backs chair’s name on Myanmar illustration
  • U.S. safety advisor meets Myanmar shadow govt
  • Myanmar rejects ASEAN exclusion transfer

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 26 (Reuters) – A Southeast Asian summit began on Tuesday with out military-ruled Myanmar, after its junta refused to ship a consultant following its chief’s exclusion for ignoring a peace roadmap agreed six months in the past.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had stated it could settle for a non-political consultant from Myanmar, however the junta stated on Monday it could solely conform to its chief or a minister attending.

Myanmar’s absence was not talked about by both Brunei, the ASEAN chair, or the 10-member bloc’s secretary-general, on the opening of the digital assembly.

ASEAN determined to sideline from the summit junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who led a Feb. 1 coup in opposition to an elected authorities, for his failure to stop hostilities, permit humanitarian entry and begin dialogue with opponents, as agreed with ASEAN in April.

After Tuesday’s leaders assembly, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob stated on Twitter he absolutely supported Brunei’s choice on Myanmar’s illustration, whereas Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha stated ASEAN’s dealings with Myanmar have been essential for its status and a check of its resolve.

“ASEAN’s constructive role in addressing this situation is of paramount importance and our action on this matter shall have a bearing on ASEAN’s credibility in the eyes of the international community,” Prayuth stated, in keeping with his workplace.

The sidelining of Min Aung Hlaing was an enormous insult to the junta and a uncommon, daring step by a regional grouping recognized for its code of non-interference and engagement.

Myanmar’s navy, which dominated the nation for 49 of the previous 60 years, objected strongly, accusing ASEAN of departing from its norms and of permitting itself to be influenced by different international locations, together with the United States.

ASEAN made the decision days after its particular envoy Erywan Yusof stated he would not be given access to all events within the nation, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who’s charged with a number of crimes.

‘TRUST ASEAN’

Prayuth, a former coup chief in Thailand, urged Myanmar to comply with its commitments and for Erywan to go to quickly and make an “important first step in the process of confidence-building”.

Prayuth “expressed hope that Myanmar will trust ASEAN in helping Myanmar to achieve peace and harmony, as well as to return to the democratic process.”

Myanmar safety forces have killed greater than 1,000 civilians and detained 1000’s extra, subjecting many to torture and beatings, in keeping with United Nations envoys, who say the military’s extreme use of drive has displaced tens of 1000’s of individuals.

Myanmar has rejected that as biased and exaggerated by unreliable sources and says the battle is being stoked by “terrorists” allied with a shadow National Unity Government (NUG).

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met on Monday with representatives of the NUG, an alliance of pro-democracy teams, native militias and ethnic minority armies shaped after the coup. learn extra

ASEAN leaders have been due additionally to collectively meet leaders of the United States, China and South Korea.

U.S. President Joe Biden will attend a joint session of the ASEAN summit by video hyperlink.

Michael Vatikiotis, Asia Director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, stated Myanmar’s junta “probably cares about being frozen out of the summit”, though it has a historical past of putting up with worldwide isolation.

“The question now is whether regional leaders will agree to engage with the parallel National Unity Government more formally, as the U.S. and EU has started to do,” he stated.

Reporting Ain Bandial in Bandar Seri Begawan; Additional reporting by Tom Allard, A. Ananthalakshmi in Kuala Lumpur, Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok; Writing by Kay Johnson and Martin Petty; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

A view shows virtual 38th ASEAN Summit, in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Ain Bandial

A bird flies near the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building, ahead of the ASEAN leaders' meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 23, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Flags are seen outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building, ahead of the ASEAN leaders' meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 23, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan