Bangkok, 28 Oct (EFE).- Myanmar’s military regime repudiated the possibility of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increasing pressure to resolve the country’s political crisis and said it would have “more negative implications than positive ones.”
In a statement on Thursday night – issued in response to the emergency meeting of foreign ministers of ASEAN held the same day – the military junta reiterated its commitment to the five-points consensus reached with leaders of the bloc in April 2021.
“Since implementing the five-point consensus is a process, inserting additional pressure by setting a timeframe will create more negative implications than positive ones,” the military junta said with reference to the bloc’s recommendation to “strengthen its implementation through concrete, practical and time-bound actions,” in a joint statement following the meeting.
ASEAN’s statement highlights the “critical and fragile” situation of the country and the “loss of many lives” in Myanmar as a result of the armed conflict aggravated by political turmoil.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after the meeting – without any representation from Myanmar – that ASEAN members have “expressed their concern and disappointment with the lack of significant progress” towards the commitments, including immediate cessation of violence against civilians.
She went on to emphasize that “the acts of violence must stop immediately,” recalling the bombing of a music festival on Sunday.
The miltary’s air raids ended up taking dozens of lives in northern Myanmar, where the fest was being organized by a rebel group.
ASEAN maintains a long-standing policy of non-interference in sovereign affairs of its members, but some countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia have advocated the use of stronger measures by the bloc against the Myanmar junta, which seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, 2021.
The agreement reached by the ministers on Thursday will be discussed during the summit of ASEAN leaders between Nov 11 and 13 in Phnom Penh, to which the military junta has not been invited.
ASEAN was founded in 1967 and at present comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. EFE