(Reuters) – Foreign ministers in Southeast Asia will discuss at a meeting on Friday whether Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing will be barred from the upcoming regional summit, sources said.
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have strongly criticized the inaction of the five-point plan of Myanmar’s military government. .
Sources in ASEAN member states, including a diplomat and another government official, are holding a previously unplanned virtual meeting with current ASEAN leader Brunei on Friday.
Myanmar military spokesman Ja Minh Min Tun did not comment on the meeting. Brunei’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to an email request for comment.
Erivan Youssef, the camp’s special envoy to Myanmar, confirmed last week that some members were “deeply debating” the decision not to invite the plot leader to a virtual summit on October 26-28.
He said the lack of commitment of the Military Council to the five-point process was “tantamount to withdrawal”. Erivan’s office declined to comment on Friday’s meeting.
Myanmar, with its long history of military dictatorship and international accusations of systematic human rights abuses, has been one of the most difficult problems for ASEAN since its inception in 1967, testing its unity and its non-interference policy.
Eruvan said this week that he was consulting with parties in Myanmar, not taking sides or taking political positions, and was looking forward to the visit.
In a statement issued late Thursday, the military said the foreign ministry had recommended an ambassador to visit this week but had requested a meeting with “certain individuals.”
Governing Council spokesman Zhao Min-din said he would not allow the ambassador to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, a public leader who has been fired over allegations. read more
According to the Foreign Ministry, the Myanmar ambassador must meet with “members of legally established political parties” and adopt a “revised schedule” to build trust between the special envoy and the country concerned.
The United Nations, the United States and China, among others, have supported ASEAN efforts to find a diplomatic solution. But pressure on ASEAN has increased in recent months, with some critics calling for drastic measures to respond to the uprising in Myanmar.
More than 1,100 people have died since the February 1 coup, many of them in strikes and protests by security forces and in attacks related to Suu Kyi’s ousted government.
Additional security by Rosanna Latdeep in Kuala Lumpur and Tom Alert in Jakarta; Extra security by Ain Pendi at Bandar Seri Begawan. Martin wrote the box; Editing by William Mallard and Mark Heinrich
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