ASEAN Ministers Meet to Discuss Regional Stability

The flags of ASEAN

Foreign ministers from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations held an informal meeting by video conference yesterday to discuss regional stability.

The meeting called for all parties in Myanmar to exercise restraint as well as flexibility, following the crisis the country faces after the military took power on 1 February.

The current chair of ASEAN, Brunei, delivered the statement after the video conference between foreign ministers.

The foreign ministers listened to a representative of the Myanmar military at the meeting.

A statement by ASEAN reads, “We as an ASEAN family have been closely following the current developments in the ASEAN region and concurred that the political stability in any and all ASEAN Member States is essential to achieving a collective peaceful, stable and prosperous ASEAN Community. We expressed our concern on the situation in Myanmar and called on all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to exercise utmost restraint as well as flexibility.

The Southeast-Asian Bloc also called for a peaceful solution through constructive dialogue, and practical reconciliation in the interests of the people and their livelihood.

It said that ASEAN was ready to assist Myanmar in a positive, peaceful, and constructive manner.

While the association does maintain a policy of non-interference, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, in particular, made their concerns known following the military takeover.

Foreign ministers from Singapore and the Philippines have urged for the release of ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, while Singapore’s foreign minister made a statement saying ASEAN can still play a constructive role in facilitating a return to normalcy and stability in Myanmar.

ASEAN’s largest economy, Indonesia, took a leading role in arranging yesterdays’ informal ASEAN meeting after Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, and Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai, for talks in Bangkok last week.