Thailand hosts Myanmar junta figures in talks, key ASEAN nations skip

Dec 22, 2022 | Myanmar

BANGKOK, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Thailand hosted regional talks on Thursday to discuss the crisis in army-run Myanmar including rare international appearances by junta ministers, but several key members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations did not attend despite invitations.

Foreign ministers of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia and Vietnam’s deputy foreign minister joined the talks hosted by Thailand’s foreign minister, according to Thai foreign ministry spokeswoman Kanchana Patarachoke.

There were no representatives from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore – the junta’s most vocal critics in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

No concrete results were reported from the discussions, which Kanchana said focused on humanitarian assistance and finding ways to implement an ASEAN peace plan known as the Five-Point Consensus.

The 10-member grouping has seen internal discord over whether to engage with the military that seized power on Feb. 1 last year in a coup that derailed a decade of democratic progress and plunged Myanmar into conflict and economic ruin.

Myanmar’s generals have been barred from high-profile ASEAN gatherings for failing to honour last year’s promises to start talks with opponents linked to the ousted civilian government led by jailed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

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