The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was held without the presence of Myanmar representatives. Myanmar’s military junta refused to send representatives after the military junta leader was not invited because it was seen as ignoring commitments to defuse the chaos following the coup in the country.
Two weeks ago, Foreign Ministers from ASEAN countries agreed that the leader of Myanmar’s military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, would not be invited to the virtual ASEAN summit on October 26-28.
As reported Reuters, Tuesday (10/26/2021), ASEAN said it would accept non-political representatives from Myanmar at the summit. However, on Monday (25/10) local time, Myanmar confirmed that it would only approve its leader or ministers to attend.
The absence of Myanmar in the Summit was not mentioned either by Brunei Darussalam as the current Chair of ASEAN, nor by the Secretary General (Secretary General) of ASEAN at the opening of the virtual meeting.
ASEAN has decided to leave General Min Aung Hlaing from the summit because of his failure to stop hostilities in Myanmar, allow humanitarian access and start dialogue with its rivals, as agreed with ASEAN in April.
After the meeting of ASEAN leaders on Tuesday (26/10) local time, the Prime Minister (PM) of Malaysia, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, stated that he fully supported Brunei’s decision on Myanmar’s representation.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-o-Cha, said the ASEAN agreement with Myanmar was very important for its reputation and a test of its resolve.
“ASEAN’s constructive role in addressing this situation is very important, and our actions on this issue will have an impact on ASEAN’s credibility in the eyes of the international community,” Prayut said in a statement.
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