Conflicts & War

US, Thailand to discuss Myanmar during Blinken’s visit

Bangkok, Jul 10 (EFE).- The United States and Thailand will discuss the chaos unleashed in Myanmar by the February 2021 coup during the American state secretary’s Sunday visit to Bangkok.

Antony Blinken will meet his Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai, and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to strengthen ties between the two allied countries and discuss the problems of the neighboring country, among other issues.

Blinken will also meet a group of young leaders of the Myanmar diaspora and hold a press conference later in the day before leaving for Tokyo, where he will offer condolences over the recent assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The US has condemned the seizure of power by the Myanmar military on Feb. 1 of last year as well as the brutal repression by the regime of unarmed civilians protesting against the coup.

Thailand, for its part, has adopted a softer stance on Myanmar and maintains the need to negotiate with the military junta to find solutions to the political, economic and social crisis triggered by the coup.

The administration led by Prayuth, the general who spearheaded the 2014 coup in Thailand and turned to politics in 2019, maintains ties with the Myanmar army and has even appointed a special rapporteur to strengthen dialogue with the junta.

The coup led by Gen. Min Aung Hlain put an end to the democratic government headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, under detention in a Naypyidaw prison, and imposed a regime of violent repression of dissent and sparked a spiral of bloodshed involving new militia groups, exacerbating decades of guerrilla conflict.

At least 2,074 people have died as a result of brutal repression by security forces, according to data collected by the Myanmar non-profit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Min Aung Hlaing has violated the promise he made in April 2021 to end violence against civilians and is seeking to hold general elections by mid-2023, viewed by analysts as a way to entrench his power.

During a visit to Singapore in June, the counselor of the US department of state, Derek Chollet, declared that these elections would be a farce. EFE


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