Myanmar Warns that ASEAN Pressure for Peace Could Have ‘Negative Implications’

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Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn spoke on Thursday during a meeting with Southeast Asian foreign ministers at the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Last week, Myanmar’s military government warned that any coercion from ASEAN member nations to put a time frame on peace negotiations would have “negative implications.”

Reuters reports that the junta which seized power in 2021 by overthrowing a democratically-elected government, issued a statement following the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia to discuss easing the growing crisis.

At the special meeting of the foreign ministers to discuss the stalled peace plan, Myanmar was not represented, as Myanmar’s military generals have been banned from attending high-level ASEAN meetings following the coup last year.

Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign ministry issued a statement last Thursday blaming armed resistance movements for the burgeoning violence and claimed that any external pressure to set a deadline for achieving peace would have more negative than positive results. The statement also stated that Myanmar would not be bound by the outcomes of the ASEAN meeting since there was no one representing the nation at the gathering.

The ASEAN Chair Cambodia said that the organization remains committed to a peace plan agreed upon with Myanmar’s military rulers, despite some countries having expressed their concerns over the failure to implement the plan agreed upon with the junta 18 months ago.

Foreign ministers and representatives agreed on Thursday that the bloc should be even more determined to achieve a peaceful solution in Myanmar, according to a statement from the chair, who noted that Myanmar’s situation remained “critical and fragile”.

“The foreign ministers expressed concern and disappointment over no significant progress on the five-point consensus implementation,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a press conference after the meeting.

Myanmar’s “five-point plan” stresses that “all ASEAN member states respect the provisions and basic principles of the ASEAN Charter” including “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States.”