ASEAN summit to tackle Myanmar crisis

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Jakarta on Saturday to discuss the Myanmar crisis.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Indonesian President Joko Widodo have confirmed they will attend  the summit.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan o-Cha will not personally attend. t Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will represent President Duterte, while Thailand will be represented by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said Thursday that the summit will be held in Jakarta, and not Brunei Darussalam, because it coincides with the location of the ASEAN Secretariat office.

However, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Hassanal Bolkiah, will chair the meeting. Brunei currently chairs the ASEAN. The chairman is elected annually on a rotation basis among its 10 member countries.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi is scheduled to meet with the UN Envoy for Myanmar, Christine raner Burgener, in Jakarta. Faizasyah said the two would discuss developments in Myanmar.

Faizasyah, however, could not confirm when the meeting between the two will take place, but it is expected to be held on Friday.

As of Wednesday, the Companion Association for Political Prisoners reported that 739 people had been killed in demonstrations against the leaders of Myanmar’s February 1 military coup. A total of 3,331 persons have reportedly been detained. (Anadolu)