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UPDATE 1-ASEAN leaders to meet over Myanmar, chair Brunei says

Global Apr 05, 2021 15:30
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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Reuters) - Brunei, the chair of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, on
Monday threw its support behind a regional leaders' meeting to
discuss developments in Myanmar and said it has asked officials
to prepare for a meeting in Jakarta.
Myanmar has been in crisis since a Feb. 1 military coup
that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Activists say at least 557 people have since been killed in a
crackdown by security forces on protests and strikes across the
country, where the junta has restricted internet access.
Indonesia has led efforts by members of ASEAN, of which
Myanmar is a member, to encourage a negotiated solution, despite
a longstanding policy of not commenting on each other's domestic
problems.
In a joint statement with Malaysia, Brunei said both
countries have asked their ministers and senior officials to
undertake "necessary preparations for the meeting that will be
held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia."
The statement followed a meeting between Malaysian Prime
Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on
Monday.
"Both leaders agreed for ASEAN leaders to meet to discuss
the ongoing developments in Myanmar," they said.
They did not say when the meeting would be held.
Both leaders expressed concern over the rising number of
fatalities in Myanmar.
"They urged all parties to refrain from instigating further
violence, and for all sides to immediately exercise utmost
restraint and flexibility," according to the statement.
ASEAN operates by consensus but the divergent views of its
10 members on how to respond to the army's use of lethal force
against civilians and the group's policy of non-interference has
limited its ability to act.
Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have all
expressed alarm over the killings of demonstrators and support
an urgent high-level meeting on Myanmar.
Their foreign ministers each separately held talks last week
with their counterpart in China, Myanmar's influential northern
neighbour.



UPDATE 1-ASEAN leaders to meet over Myanmar, chair Brunei says
 

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