Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on the need to immediately end violence in Myanmar following an emergency meeting in Jakarta on Saturday (April 24).
Leaders of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Brunei were present at the meeting, along with the foreign ministers of Laos, Thailand and the Philippines.
The meeting was also attended by Myanmar Army Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing.
This is the general’s first overseas trip since the February 1 coup aimed at toppling civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. According to local monitoring group AAPP, military crackdowns have left more than 700 civilians dead.
According to a statement from Brunei, the current ASEAN president, the leaders reached a consensus on five points, including: ending violence, constructive dialogue between the parties, the appointment of a special mission. ASEAN members to facilitate dialogue, provide humanitarian assistance and special envoy’s visit to Myanmar.
“We, as an ASEAN family, have discussed closely the recent developments in Myanmar and expressed deep concern about the situation in the country, including reports of deaths and the violence escalated, ”the statement said.
“We recognize ASEAN’s active and constructive role in facilitating a peaceful solution for the benefit of the Burmese people and their livelihoods,” the statement added. hears calls for the release of all political prisoners including foreigners. “
“[The result] was beyond our expectations,” Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters after the meeting.
“We tried not to accuse his side [General Min Aung Hlaing] too much because we did not care who did it,” added Mr. Muhyiddin. “We just insist that violence must stop. His view is that it is the other side that causes the problems. But he agreed that the violence must stop. “
5 points of consensus
Among the consensus views, ASEAN leaders called for an “immediate end to violence” in Myanmar, adding that all parties would need to ensure the exercise of “maximum restraint”.
The parties also agreed to initiate a constructive dialogue to seek a peaceful solution for the benefit of the Myanmar people.
“Third, an envoy of the ASEAN Chairman will support the reconciliation dialogue process with the assistance of the Secretary-General of ASEAN,” the statement said.
“Fourth, ASEAN will provide humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center on disaster management. Fifth, the special envoy and the delegation will visit Myanmar to meet all stakeholders. ”
The ASEAN meeting was the bloc’s first concerted international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar.
Prime Minister Min Aung Hlaing earlier told the meeting that he did not oppose a visit by an ASEAN special envoy to help resolve the crisis.
A regular nightly report on military-run Myawaddy TV reported his attendance at the meeting and said Myanmar will work closely with ASEAN on a variety of issues, including “ political transition in Myanmar and the process will be implemented in the future ”.
Myanmar’s National Unification Government (NUG), which includes pro-democracy figures, people from Suu Kyi’s ousted government and representatives of armed ethnic groups, said they welcomed Consensus was reached but said the military government had to comply with its promises.
“We want ASEAN to take decisive action so that [the military] will obey the bloc’s decisions and restore our democracy,” said Dr. Sasa, a spokesman for NUG.