Asean nations must resolve Myanmar situation collectively, says Zambry

KUALA LUMPUR: The conflict in Myanmar must be resolved collectively by Asean so it does not become a regional flash point, says Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (pic).

The Foreign Minister said that no Asean nation should attempt to resolve the issue unilaterally but adhere to the Five Point Peace Plan (5P).

"We must use all our wisdom to resolve the problem as there are outside powers who are vying to get involved," Zambry said when responding to a supplementary question raised by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) in Dewan Rakyat on Monday. (March 20).

Dr Dzulkefly asked about the recent proposal by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his visit to Thailand to carve Myanmar out of Asean as a drastic measure to resolve the conflict.

Zambry said that the term 'carve out' used by Anwar did not mean directly removing the country from the grouping.

"What he meant was that Asean should not turn the issue into a problem which we cannot extract ourselves from," he said.

He added that the Asean needs to consider other factors such as strengthening economic cooperation and ties among member nations.

He also acknowledged that if the Myanmar issue is not resolved in an appropriate manner, it could lead to a race for dominance by outside powers.

"There are powers from the outside who want to get involved in Myanmar which will spark a race for geopolitical power," he said when responding to a supplementary question by Wan Fayshal Wan Ahmad (PN-Machang) Dewan Rakyat on Monday. (March 20).

Wan Fayshal said there were concerns raised over health and security issues due to a large number of Myanmar refugees in the country.

He asked what was being done to prevent the supply of arms to Myanmar by China and Russia as claimed.

Earlier, Zambry said that Asean foreign ministers agreed during a meeting in February this year to continue with the 5P to resolve the conflict in Myanmar.

However, he said the problem in Myanmar was a complex issue which would take time to resolve.

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