ASEANCambodiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Cambodia PM invites Myanmar junta to the Summit if progress made on peace plan

Photo courtesy of the Human Rights Watch.

Despite objections from his counterparts, Cambodia’s leader and incumbent chair of the 10 member bloc, PM Hun Sen, confirmed he had invited Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing to the next ASEAN summit if he makes progress on a peace plan he agreed to last year.

Hun Sen reportedly spoke to the military head, Min Aung Hlaing, today via video conference regarding the four-year prison term of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and deploying military aircraft in recent clashes in the post-coup country following their last meeting on January 7.

The Myanmar military chief and coup leader have been barred from important meetings for failing to fulfil a five-point ASEAN “consensus” that included ending hostilities and allowing full access to a special envoy to all parties involved in the conflict.

Although Hun Sen is very keen to interact rather than leave out the junta from the 10 member bloc, numerous ASEAN leaders have pressured him, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, to stick to the agreement, which is backed by the UN and the US.

The group had failed to present its legitimacy member group last year when the Myanmar military seized power and overthrew the civilian government elected by the people, arresting the leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other parliament members.

The rest of the ASEAN members were concerned that Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar would imply ASEAN approval of the military coup leader, who has supervised a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy groups. Hun Sen this week slammed Malaysia’s foreign minister, labelling him arrogant for expressing reservations about meeting the junta head.

SOURCE: Reuters