Connect with us

World

ASEAN summit begins without Myanmar

Hlaing’s exclusion was an unprecedented snub.

Published

on

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AFP) — Southeast Asian leaders kicked off an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit Tuesday but Myanmar refused to send a representative after being angered by the bloc’s decision to exclude the country’s junta chief.

The virtual gathering marked the start of three days of meetings hosted by the ASEAN, with United States President Joe Biden as well as Chinese and Russian leaders set to attend.

Myanmar topped the agenda of Tuesday’s talks between regional leaders, with the country still in chaos following February’s military takeover and the subsequent deadly crackdown on dissent.

The coup snuffed out Myanmar’s short-lived experiment with democracy, with Nobel laureate Suu Kyi now facing a raft of charges in a junta court that could see her jailed for decades.

Facing calls to defuse the crisis, ASEAN, which includes Myanmar, has drawn up a roadmap aimed at restoring peace but there have been doubts over the junta’s commitment to the plan.

Its refusal to let a special envoy meet ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi prompted the bloc to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing from this week’s summit.

Hlaing’s exclusion was an unprecedented snub from an organization often criticized for being toothless, and was slammed by the junta as a breach of the bloc’s policy of non-interference in member states’ affairs.

Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Advertisement
Advertisement