World Malaysia 'disappointed' with Myanmar over ASEAN envoy row
Concerned United Nations can only sidestep Myanmar crisis
BANGKOK (AP) — In his speech last week to open the U.N. General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres bracketed Myanmar with Afghanistan and Ethiopia as nations for whose people “peace and stability remain a distant dream.” He declared unwavering support for the people of the turbulent, military-ruled Southeast Asia state “in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.” But the situation in Myanmar after the army’s seizure of power eight months ago has become an extended bloody conflict with ever-escalating violence. Yet the U.N.
Malaysia's foreign minister expressed disappointment Monday at Myanmar's failure to cooperate with an ASEAN envoy, warning that the country's junta chief could be excluded from an upcoming summit of the bloc.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been under pressure to address a February coup in Myanmar and subsequent crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 1,100 people.
Members of the 10-nation group have pushed for an end to the troubles, with a Bruneian official chosen as an envoy due to visit Myanmar to meet with the opposing factions.
Myanmar Says Journalist Danny Fenster Does 'More' Than What Reporters Do Amid Arrest
Fenster is one of around 100 journalists detained in Myanmar since the military takeover in the country on February 1.Though Myanmar's military-installed government hasn't disclosed what crimes warranted his detention, the journalist is awaiting trial for an incitement, or sedition, charge, according to the AP. The charge, which can result in up to a three-year prison sentence, is commonly imposed on dissidents and journalists for "any attempt to cause fear, spread false news, or agitate directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a government employee.
But an apparent reluctance to grant the envoy access to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi rankled Malaysia during a video call between ASEAN foreign ministers on Monday.
"We are disappointed that the Myanmar authorities have not cooperated with the Special Envoy of the ASEAN on Myanmar," Malaysian foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Twitter.
"Unless there is progress, it would be difficult to have the Chairman of the SAC at the ASEAN Summit," he added, referring to Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Leaders of the Southeast Asian bloc are due to hold a summit at the end of October.
Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Twitter that officials had urged Myanmar to work with the envoy during the call.
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Brunei second foreign minister Erywan Yusof was chosen as the envoy in August after months of negotiations, but Myanmar has yet to give details of his planned visit.
On Thursday, a junta spokesman said it would be "difficult" for the envoy to hold talks with people on trial and the regime was more open to meetings with "official organisations".
Suu Kyi, 76, faces charges including flouting coronavirus restrictions during polls last year that her party won in a landslide, illegally importing walkie-talkies and sedition.
She faces decades in prison if convicted on all charges.
The junta has promised to hold elections and lift a state of emergency by August 2023.
Burma: The Junta refuses to the Asean envoy to meet Aung San Suu Kyi .
Burmese-Politics: Burma: The Junte refuses to the Asean envoy to meet Aung San Suu Kyi © Reuters / Pool New Burma: The Junta refuses to the ASEAN envoy to meet Aung San Suu Kyi (Reuters) - the military junta in power in Burma did not prevent the special envoy from the Association of South Nations -Et Asian (ASEAN) to visit the country, but it will not be possible to meet Aung San Suu Kyi because she faces accusations of crimes, said a spokesman for the junta.