Myanmar decries move to block junta leader


The military government said it rejected a decision by its South-East Asian neighbours to invite only a non-political figure to an upcoming regional summit in a snub to the leader of the Feb 1 coup.

The junta’s foreign ministry said in a press release that the heads of state or government of Myanmar enjoyed equal and full rights to participate in summits of the 10-member Asean.

The next summit is due on Oct 26-28. It is not clear who, if anybody, will now represent Myanmar at the meeting.

“Myanmar will not be in a position to accept any outcome of the discussions and decisions which are...contrary to the provisions, objectives and cherished principles of the Asean Charter,” the foreign ministry said in its release.

International pressure had been mounting on Asean for a harder line against Myanmar’s failure to take agreed steps to end violence, allow humanitarian access and start dialogue with its opponents, in line with an Asean “consensus” reached in April.

Ministers at last Friday’s meeting were divided between sticking to a tradition of non-interference and the need to retain credibility by sanctioning coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, who has led the crackdown on dissent since seizing power from Myanmar’s civilian government, sources with knowledge of the talks said.

The junta said after the meeting that the Asean’s decision went against its longtime principles. — Reuters

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