Military-ruled Myanmar said it would not be ‘bound’ by the outcome of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings.
Myanmar’s military government has warned that any pressure from Southeast Asian Neighbors putting a time frame on a peace plan will create “negative effects”.
The junta made this statement in response to an earlier meeting on Thursday of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that discussed ways to defuse the growing conflict in the country.
Late on Thursday, Myanmar’s military-appointed Foreign Ministry released a statement blaming armed protest movements for the violence and said the pressure to set a timeframe for peace will create more negative effects than positive.
The ministry also said that Myanmar will “not be bound by the outcome of the meeting” as it is hosted by nine ASEAN countries. without the presence of the Myanmar representativecomplete the bloc’s 10-country membership.
Myanmar has been rocked by the brutality of the conflict in recent weeks, including parcel bombs sent to Myanmar’s largest prison and government airstrikes in the northern state of Kachin on Sunday, which reportedly killed one estimated 80 people including many civilians.
No Myanmar representatives were present at the special meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers as the country’s leaders have been barred from participating in high-level meetings of the bloc since last year’s military coup ousted them. elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Thousands of people have been arrested and killed in violence since the coup and tens of thousands have fled the country.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that ASEAN ministers expressed concern and disappointment, and in some cases frustration at the lack of substantial progress in implementing a peace plan for Myanmar.
“Instead of progressing, the situation is even said to be worsening and getting worse,” she said.
Marsudi said: “The acts of violence must again stop immediately. “Without an end to the violence, there will be no favorable conditions for resolving this political crisis.”
The foreign ministers acknowledged at the meeting that their efforts to bring peace to Myanmar had failed, but they reiterated their determination to end the violence in the country.
“The meeting agreed that ASEAN should not be discouraged, but more determined to help Myanmar come up with a peaceful solution as soon as possible,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who chaired the meeting, said in a statement. An announcement.
ASEAN has attempted to play a role of peacemaker by presenting the “five-point consensus” plan it reached last year as a way to ensure peace.
The five-point plan calls for an immediate end to violence, dialogue between stakeholders, mediation by the ASEAN special envoy, provision of humanitarian aid and the special envoy’s visit to Myanmar to meet all Stakeholders.
The Myanmar government initially agreed but made little effort to implement the plan, other than seeking humanitarian aid and allowing ASEAN’s special envoy, Prak Sokhonn, to visit. But the generals refused to allow him to meet Suu Kyi, who is being arrested and tried on a variety of charges that critics say are intent on keeping her out of politics.
Thursday’s meeting comes ahead of ASEAN’s annual summit on 11-13 November, where the leaders’ primary focus will be on the Myanmar crisis, which has threatened the bloc’s unity. .
ASEAN members have traditionally avoided criticizing each other, and the violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s military is widely seen as a manifestation of the bloc’s inability to respond to the geopolitical and humanitarian emergency that could arise. may affect all of these countries.
At the United Nations in New York on Wednesday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said that a coalition of countries at the United Nations needed to join forces and targeted Myanmar military with sanctions and arms embargo.
Proposing an international diplomatic effort similar to what has emerged to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, Andrews said “the world is failing the people of Myanmar”.
“There is a leadership vacuum in the UN and the international community,” he said.