Brunei said in a statement that a non-political figure from Myanmar would be invited to the summit, as no consensus had been reached for a political representative to attend.
“Some ASEAN member states have recommended that ASEAN allow Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy,” the statement said.
In response, Myanmar’s military-controlled foreign ministry said it was “extremely disappointed and strongly objected” to being pulled out of the summit.
“The discussion and decision on the issue of representation of Myanmar was made without consensus and was against the objectives of ASEAN,” the foreign ministry said.
It said, “Ignoring the good traditions of ASEAN’s promotion of unity in diversity and resolving differences through consultation and consensus will have a great impact on the unity and centrality of ASEAN.”
A spokesman for Myanmar’s military government previously attributed the decision to “foreign interference”.
Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that it supported the ousting of Myanmar’s junta, saying it was a “difficult but necessary decision” to preserve ASEAN’s credibility.
“Singapore urges Myanmar military officials to cooperate with the special envoy to ensure that the five-point agreement is swiftly and fully implemented,” the ministry said in a statement.
ASEAN’s decision to oust Myanmar’s junta is a rare bold move for the consensus-driven bloc, which has traditionally supported a policy of engagement and non-intervention.
According to the United Nations, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar security forces, while thousands of others have been arrested, amid attacks and crackdowns on protests that have derailed the country’s provisional democracy and inspired international condemnation. has done.
The junta says estimates of the death toll are exaggerated.
In August, Min Aung Huling declared himself prime minister of the newly formed caretaker government. During an address to the nation on August 1, he reiterated his pledge to hold elections by 2023 and said his administration was ready to work with a future regional envoy on Myanmar.
ASEAN has faced mounting international pressure to take a tough stand against Myanmar, which has been criticized in the past for being ineffective in dealing with leaders accused of rights abuses, destroying democracy and intimidating political opponents Was.
A US State Department official told reporters on Friday that reducing Myanmar’s participation in the upcoming summit was “totally reasonable and indeed wholly appropriate” for ASEAN.
Singapore in its statement urged Myanmar to cooperate with ASEAN’s envoy, Brunei’s second foreign affairs minister, Eriwan Yousuf.
Eriwan has delayed a long-planned trip to the country in recent weeks and called on all parties in Myanmar to meet, including ousted leader Suu Kyi.
Junta spokesman Jaw Min Tun said Eriwan would be welcomed to Myanmar this week but would not be allowed to meet Suu Kyi because she is accused of crimes.
Malaysia’s foreign minister said it would be up to the Myanmar regime to decide on an alternate representative for the summit.
“We never thought of withdrawing Myanmar from ASEAN, we believe that Myanmar has equal rights (like us),” Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters, according to the Bernama state news agency.
“But the junta has not cooperated, so ASEAN must be strong to defend its credibility and integrity,” he said.
Credit : www.cnn.com