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    'No significant progress' on Myanmar as ASEAN diplomats meet

08:35 03 August 2021 Author :  

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers met online on Monday, with the Myanmar crisis high on the agenda.

The 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting includes a series of virtual gatherings between members as well as key partners including the US and China until Aug. 6.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said there has been "no significant progress" toward a resolution for Myanmar. She told a news conference that Indonesia urged Myanmar and the bloc to move forward with approving a special envoy to the troubled country.

"There needs to be a commitment from the Myanmar military to provide full access to the special envoy to carry out their duties," she said.

In April, ASEAN had agreed on a five-point consensus, including constructive dialogue and acceptance of a special envoy for Myanmar, where the military took power on Feb. 1.

Marsudi also called for the immediate implementation of other points agreed upon, particularly humanitarian assistance for the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar's military ousted President Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, detaining them along with other senior members of the pre-coup ruling National League for Democracy party, citing "election fraud."

The takeover has led to months of demonstrations and a mass civil disobedience movement, which has been met with brutal force. The death toll has risen to 940, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group.

Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of Myanmar's military regime, named himself the prime minister on Sunday. He promised multi-party elections and the lifting of the state of emergency by August 2023 – instead of the initial one-year timeline.

ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam./aa

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