EU top diplomat pins hopes on Asean to resolve Myanmar crisis

Jakarta, July 13 (EFE).- The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell Thursday said he had confidence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to resolve the Myanmar crisis.

Borrell made the remarks during a meeting with Asean members, holding a series of meetings with the foreign ministers of Asean countries in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

The 10-nation regional bloc includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

Indonesia leads the regional group this year.

“We do not recognize the military junta and perhaps you (Asean) will find a solution to overcome this issue,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Borrell opposed Myanmar’s upcoming role as the overseer of the ties between Asean and the 27-nation European bloc.

Currently, representatives of the Myanmar military junta, which seized power in a coup in 2021, are not allowed to participate in the Asean meetings due to their lack of commitment to dialogue and peace in the strife-torn country.

The EU diplomat referred to the seventh anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration 2016 ruling, favoring the Philippines in its sovereign dispute in the South China Sea against China, which continues to reject or acknowledge the decision.

“I recall that the dispute settlement mechanism under UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) contributes to maintaining the international order based on the rule of law,” he said.

Borrell said the EU supports Ukraine in defending territorial integrity, and condemned the Russian invasion and “acts of violence inflicted by Russian forces against the civilian population.”

The European representative referred to Asean as “the most vibrant region in the world, economically and geopolitically.”

He highlighted the EU’s intention to continue collaborating and working with the Asean bloc to overcome the global challenges.

While bilateral meetings are taking place, Jakarta will host the Asean Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit of Foreign Ministers on Friday, where representatives from the association and countries like the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia, among others, will converge. EFE


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