ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta chief from summit in uncommon transfer



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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Southeast Asian nations will invite a non-political consultant from Myanmar to a regional summit this month, delivering an unprecedented snub to the army chief who led a coup towards an elected civilian authorities in February.

The choice taken by overseas ministers from the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at an emergency assembly on Friday night time was an unusually daring step for the consensus-driven bloc, which historically favors a coverage of engagement and non-interference.


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Brunei, ASEAN’s present chair, issued an announcement citing an absence of progress made on a roadmap that the junta had agreed to with ASEAN in April to revive peace in Myanmar.

Singapore’s overseas ministry mentioned on Saturday the transfer to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “tough, however crucial, choice to uphold ASEAN’s credibility.”

A spokesman for Myanmar’s army authorities blamed “overseas intervention” for the choice.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun instructed the BBC Burmese information service that america and representatives of the European Union had pressured different ASEAN member states.

“The overseas interventions can be seen right here,” he mentioned. “We discovered that some envoys from some nations met with U.S. overseas affairs and obtained stress from EU.”


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An official junta assertion on Sunday morning mentioned ASEAN’s choice went towards its longtime central precept of consensus.

“Myanmar is extraordinarily disillusioned and strongly objected the outcomes of the Emergency International Ministers’ Assembly because the discussions and choice on Myanmar’s illustration difficulty was carried out with out consensus and was towards the goals of the ASEAN, the ASEAN Constitution and its ideas,” it mentioned.

Greater than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar safety forces with hundreds of others arrested, in accordance with the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the nation’s tentative democracy and prompted worldwide condemnation.

The junta says these estimates of the dying toll are exaggerated.


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ASEAN chair Brunei mentioned a non-political determine from Myanmar could be invited to the Oct. 26-28 summit, after no consensus was reached for a political consultant to attend.

“As there had been inadequate progress… in addition to considerations over Myanmar’s dedication, specifically on establishing constructive dialog amongst all involved events, some ASEAN Member States advisable that ASEAN give area to Myanmar to revive its inner affairs and return to normalcy,” Brunei mentioned in an announcement.

It didn’t point out Min Aung Hlaing or title who could be invited in his stead.

Brunei mentioned some member states had obtained requests from Myanmar’s Nationwide Unity Authorities, shaped by opponents of the junta, to attend the summit.


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ASEAN has confronted rising worldwide stress to take a more durable stand towards Myanmar, having been criticized up to now for its ineffectiveness in coping with leaders accused of rights abuses, subverting democracy and intimidating political opponents.

A U.S. State Division official instructed reporters on Friday that it was “completely applicable and in reality utterly justified” for ASEAN to downgrade Myanmar’s participation on the coming summit.

Singapore in its assertion urged Myanmar to cooperate with ASEAN’s envoy, Brunei’s second overseas affairs minister Erywan Yusof.

Erywan has delayed a long-planned go to to the nation in current weeks and has requested to fulfill all events in Myanmar, together with deposed chief Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained within the coup.


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Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun mentioned this week Erywan could be welcome in Myanmar, however wouldn’t be allowed to fulfill Suu Kyi as a result of she is charged with crimes.

Malaysia’s overseas minister mentioned it will be as much as the Myanmar junta to determine on an alternate consultant to the summit.

“We by no means considered eradicating Myanmar from ASEAN, we consider Myanmar has the identical rights (as us),” overseas minister Saifuddin Abdullah instructed reporters in accordance with Bernama state information company.

“However the junta has not cooperated, so ASEAN should be sturdy in defending its credibility and integrity,” he added. (Reporting by Ain Bandial; Further reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Simon Lewis in Washington; Writing by Rozanna Latiff; Enhancing by William Mallard, Simon Cameron-Moore, Mike Harrison and Christina Fincher)



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