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The UN special envoy met with ASEAN leaders on the sidelines of the Myanmar Summit – Radio Free Asia

The UN special envoy for Myanmar will be in Jakarta this weekend to speak with Southeast Asian leaders on the sidelines of the special summit about the turmoil in Myanmar, the world agency said on Tuesday. Private.

Analysts said the meeting scheduled to take place on Saturday was hit hard by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s decision not to attend.

“The Special Secretary-General, Christine Schraner Burgener, remains in the region and will be in Jakarta to interact with ASEAN leaders on the sidelines of Saturday’s meeting, focusing on a political solution,” Stéphane said. Dujarric, spokesman for UN Chief António Guterres, said. .

The Secretary-General “urged ASEAN leaders to help prevent the escalation of the crisis and possible serious humanitarian impacts beyond Myanmar’s borders,” Dujarric said during a daily press conference in the Union. United Nations in New York, according to one record.

Schraner Burgener visited the area earlier this month to negotiate over Myanmar, but the Burmese military is not yet ready to accept her, she said on Twitter on April 9.

So far, the leaders of six of the bloc’s 10 countries in the region, including the head of Myanmar’s military regime, have pledged to attend the meeting in person.

Analysts said the absence of Prayuth, a former military leader, has undermined the summit’s ability to pressure the Burmese government to stop killing civilians and restore the background. democracy.

Azmi Hassan, a Malaysian political analyst, said: “I think the meeting needs the importance of having the top leaders of the member states to show full power and importance. the fullness of ASEAN ”.

“Instead, if there are only secondary or tertiary leaders attending the meeting, it will signal to the authorities that ASEAN does not share a single voice. Azmi told BenarNews, an online news service that is part of RFA, is very important for ASEAN.

More than 700 people – mostly anti-coup protesters – have been killed by Burmese security forces since the February 1 coup, according to the latest statistics from the Major Prisoners Support Association. government, a Myanmar human rights group based in Thailand.

Who go

On Wednesday, leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have officially confirmed they will attend the meeting at the ASEAN secretariat in the Indonesian capital.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will also be leaving, the Vietnamese Embassy in the United States told BenarNews on Wednesday.

Thailand appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. The Philippine Foreign Ministry said it will make a statement on Thursday as to whether President Rodrigo Duterte will attend. Duterte’s office has been against speculation about his health.

There has been no official comment from Laos and Singapore on who will represent their government at the special meeting.

Syed Hamid Albar, former Malaysian foreign minister, said that not attending Prayuth’s meeting would have the greatest impact on the ASEAN meeting.

Mr. Prayuth stated there was no reason why he decided to quit the meeting by telling reporters on Tuesday that his deputy would come to Jakarta to replace him.

Hamid told Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama that Prayuth’s absence is a limitation because Thailand is very close to the Tatmadaw.

In 2018, Thailand awarded Min Aung Hlaing the “Grand Cross King of the White Elephant Medal”, a royal ornament. At that time, the Myanmar Army Commander told the media that he was granted honor because “the relationship between the two armed forces was quite good”, Bangkok Post Office reported.

At the time, Mr. Prayuth was in his fourth year as head of the country, after he launched a coup in 2014 as commander in chief of the military.

The military leaders of Burma and Thailand have “individual chemical reactions”, which “pushed their relations to a new plateau”, a December 2015 article said in Global Asia, a quarterly publication from the East Asia Foundation.

“[Then] The article states that General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand, chose Myanmar as the first foreign country to visit after he took power in a coup in May 2014.

Hunter Marston, a non-resident member at the Pacific Forum, a foreign policy institute, said Prayuth’s absence from the upcoming ASEAN meeting is not a good omen for group leaders. wants to send a strong message to the Myanmar government.

It is “a huge blow to any hope of ASEAN unity, which is already quite fragile,” Marston said via Twitter.

In March, ASEAN foreign ministers were unable to reach a consensus on calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected Myanmar leaders held in military custody since the coup. .

“Ignoring the conference was a clear message to Min Aung Hlaing that he will stand by him. … [It is a] motioned for him [Prayuth] Marston did not want to get involved in any strong message to Myanmar that ASEAN was against the coup. ”

‘Concessions’

Currently, ASEAN is facing criticism for inviting Min Aung Hlaing to the summit. Regional grouping has been closely examined on who invited and who accepted.

The President of ASEAN, Brunei has not said whether they will invite representatives of the National United Government (NUG), a parallel government launched on Friday and including lawmakers winning seats in the election November 2020, that Myanmar army overthrew by force.

Romeo Abad Arca, assistant director of public relations at the ASEAN Secretariat, told BenarNews on Wednesday he had no information about who would be attending the summit.

Brunei and Indonesian officials did not immediately respond to emails from BenarNews.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said Min Aung Hlaing may not attend if a NUG representative is present.

“NUG’s not being invited probably so as not to offend the military leadership, as he might refuse to attend if NUG is there too,” Oh told BenarNews.

“So ASEAN seems to be falling behind in response to the whim and the wishes of its generals and in general, the government. I think the traditional term for this is called soothing. ”

Meanwhile, the decision of the head of the Myanmar army to attend shows that “he is confident enough about the stability of the regime to leave. [the] Marston said.

“He wants legitimacy [the] The summit would pose a risk big enough to take that risk, ”said Marston.

This should come as no surprise to Bridget Welsh, a political scientist at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia.

“I don’t expect much in the meeting because ASEAN is divided. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand are the supporters while Singapore has a conflicting attitude because it allows the government. This drives a small group against, ”Welsh told BenarNews.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch calls on ASEAN to cancel the invitation to the head of the Myanmar military “for his role in military atrocities and brutal persecution. violence against pro-democracy protesters ”.

Reported by BenarNews, an online news service affiliated with RFA.



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