Conflicts & War

Myanmar defends pact ‘commitment’ to resolve crisis

Bangkok, Oct 15 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta defended its “commitment” to the points of consensus reached with Southeast Asian countries to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis in the country as a result of the Feb.1 coup ahead of an emergency meeting called by the regional bloc on Friday to analyze progress.

In a statement released by official media on Friday, the foreign ministry said that “Myanmar has been cooperating” in the implementation of the agreements although it acknowledged that it has rejected several requests submitted by the mediator appointed to seek a way out of the conflict.

“As Myanmar has been prioritizing peace and tranquility in the country, some requests which go beyond the permission of existing laws will be difficult to be accommodated. In this respect, special envoy and international community need to show some understanding on such situation,” the ministry said.

Bruneian Minister Erywan Yusof, appointed in August as special envoy of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) for Myanmar, canceled his first trip to the country this week at the last minute after being denied access to several people with whom he had requested to meet, according to Myanmar media.

Although the Myanmar foreign ministry’s statement does not specify names, last week, junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun defended the junta’s decision not to allow Yusof to meet the country’s ousted leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that she “is right now facing several charges.”

The appointment of a special envoy, which was delayed for months, and his visit “to meet all parties” involved in the conflict is one of the five points of consensus reached by the military junta and the leaders of Asean, which includes Myanmar.

Among the other pacts reached in April are an end to violence against civilians, the sending of humanitarian aid and the opening of a dialog between all concerned parties to reach a peaceful solution.

The Asean foreign ministers have scheduled an “emergency meeting” on Friday to plan the annual summit between Oct. 26 and 28.

During the meeting, they will also discuss progress in the implementation of the five points of consensus, a Thai ministry spokesperson said on Twitter on Thursday night.

Last week, several Asean foreign ministers, including Retno Marsudi, of Indonesia, and Saifuddin Abdullah, of Malaysia, expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in Myanmar and left the door open for the exclusion of Myanmar representatives from the summit.

The Myanmar junta justifies the coup, citing alleged electoral fraud in the now annulled election results in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory.

International observers have cleared the polls as free and fair.

At least 1,171 people have died in violent repression by police and soldiers since the coup, data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners showed.

The military has also detained more than 7,300 protesters since Feb.1. EFE


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