ASEAN foreign ministers reiterate support for Myanmar peace plan
Jakarta, Feb 4 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Saturday reiterated support for enforcing the five-point consensus reached by the bloc to tackle the political crisis in Myanmar, triggered by the 2021 coup.
The foreign ministers, who have gathered in Jakarta for a summit, “urged for significant progress in the implementation of the Five-PointConsensus to pave the way for an inclusive national dialogue in Myanmar,” according to a statement released by Indonesian top diplomat Retno Marsudi.
The five-point consensus reached in April 2021 by ASEAN and Myanmar’s military junta in another summit in Jakarta includes the immediate cessation of violence and the appointment of a special ASEAN envoy to help facilitate dialog among all parties.
The lack of cooperation by Myanmar authorities even after almost two years since the pact has resulted in the Burmese foreign ministry being excluded from the ASEAN meet, despite Naypyidaw being a member of the bloc.
Marsudi said that a plan to implement the five-point consensus, proposed in the ASEAN summit in November, was broadly accepted by all the member countries, without confirming whether an exact agreement was reached by the nine participating ministers.
“This plan is very important for ASEAN, in particular the chair, as a guidance to address the situation in Myanmar in a united manner. It shows a strong unity of ASEAN members to implement the 5PC,” the Indonesian minister said.
Apart from the Myanmar issue, the ministers also agreed to finalize a code of conduct with China over territorial conflicts in the South China Sea between Beijing and several ASEAN member countries, especially the Philippines and Vietnam.
The ministers also agreed to boost more substantial ties with the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan and the Gulf countries.
Marsudi did not refer to the Ukraine war in her presser, even though some analysts had predicted that Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year could influence the bloc’s position on the conflict, as Indonesian President Joko Widodo had tried to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv.
ASEAN, founded in 1967, comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. EFE