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ASEAN Foreign Ministers Hold Emergency Talks on Myanmar

October 27, 2022, 05.33 PM - Foreign ministers of Southeast Asian nations met in Jakarta on Thursday, Oct. 27, to discuss how to start a stalled peace process in crisis-hit Myanmar.

In recent weeks, Myanmar has seen some of the deadliest incidents since the military coup in February 2021.

The meeting is taking place in the Indonesian capital without a representative of Myanmar's military junta and comes ahead of next month's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' summit.

Also read: Thailand Expresses Support for Indonesias ASEAN Chairmanship

What is ASEAN hoping to achieve for Myanmar?

ASEAN has said that it is "gravely concerned" over the rising human rights abuses in Myanmar, but its attempts to resolve the crisis are yet to yield results.

A five-point ASEAN plan from April 2021 would be one of the keys focuses of Thursday's emergency meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

The five points include:

  • an immediate cessation of violence;
  • dialogue among all concerned parties;
  • the appointment of an ASEAN special envoy for mediation;
  • increased aid;
  • and a visit by the special envoy to Myanmar to meet all stakeholders.

The 10-country bloc's peace effort is the only official diplomatic process on the table.

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However, with the junta not willing to put the plan into practice, the process has so far been a failure.

The United Nations has supported the ASEAN plan but international patience is fraying amid suspicions that generals in Myanmar are paying lip service to buy time to consolidate power and suppress opponents ahead of an election in 2023.

With the ASEAN summit due in November, the bloc may need to come up with a new strategy ahead of the annual meeting, if it wants to remain credible as a mediator.

What is the situation in Myanmar?

According to a local monitoring group, over 2,300 people have been killed in the military's brutal clampdown on dissent since the coup.


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