Myanmar junta chief excluded from summit: ASEAN

By AFP

Myanmar’s junta chief will be excluded from an upcoming ASEAN summit, the group said Saturday, a rare rebuke as concerns rise over the military government’s commitment to plans on defusing a bloody crisis.

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed at an emergency meeting late Friday that Min Aung Hlaing will not be invited to the October 26-28 summit, current ASEAN chair Brunei said.

The bloc, widely considered a toothless organisation, took a strong stand after the junta rebuffed requests for a special envoy to meet with all parties concerned — a phrase seen to include ousted civilian leader Ang San Suu Kyi.

The statement noted “insufficient progress” in the implementation of a five-point plan agreed by ASEAN leaders in April to end turmoil following a coup in February, and some member states recommended giving “space to Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy”.

It was decided “to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar” to the summit, “while noting the reservations from the Myanmar representative”, the statement said.