Fri, 02 Jun 2023

Tokyo [Japan], October 24 (ANI): Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will continue to push Myanmar's military junta to allow the group's special envoy to visit the country, a Japanese media report said.

A statement to be issued at ASEAN Summit this week calls on the Myanmar junta to adhere to its commitment to a five-point consensus agreed by bloc's leaders in April to help find a solution to the country's political crisis, Kyodo News agency reported.

It also calls for facilitating the visit of the Special Envoy to Myanmar to build trust and confidence with full access to all parties concerned.

This comes ahead of the next summit of southeast Asian countries slated to take place from October 26-28.

After the excluded military commander Min Aung Hlaing from the Asean summit this week, Myanmar's junta on Sunday pledged to cooperate "as much as possible" with a peace plan agreed with the regional bloc.

In an announcement in state media, the junta said it upholds the principle of peaceful coexistence with other countries and would cooperate with the ASEAN in following a five-point "consensus" agreed in April, reported Bangkok Post.

Calling itself the legitimate authority in Myanmar, the junta insists that its takeover was not a coup, but a necessary and lawful intervention against a threat to sovereignty posed by Aung San Suu Kyi's party.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers decided on October 15 to sideline Min Aung Hlaing, leader of a February 1 Myanmar coup, for his failure to implement that plan, which included ending hostilities, initiating dialogue, allowing humanitarian support, and granting a special envoy full access to the country.

The junta struck back late on Friday, accusing ASEAN of departing from its principles on consensus and non-interference.

It refused to agree to send a politically neutral Myanmar representative instead of Min Aung Hlaing. Meanwhile, ASEAN chair Brunei has not responded to Myanmar's rejection, reported Bangkok Post.

The exclusion of Min Aung Hlaing is an unprecedented snub from a bloc long criticised for being tardy and ineffective at dealing with member governments accused of atrocities. (ANI)

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