Saturday, October 16, 2021

ASEAN Envoy and Myanmar Junta Discuss Suu Kyi

The Brunei diplomat appointed by ASEAN as special envoy to Myanmar said Saturday that he was still negotiating with the military junta on the terms of the visit. He has also sought access to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN has sought to end violence in Myanmar and open dialogue between military rulers and their opponents after Suu Kyi’s ouster in February.

ASEAN assigned Erywan Yusof, Brunei’s second Foreign Minister, last month to lead this effort.

“There is an urgent need to go to Myanmar now. But I think before all that, I need to have assurances,” Erywan told Reuters. “I need to be able to have a clear picture of what I have to do, what they will allow me to do when I visit.”

Erywan wants to visit before the end of October when ASEAN leaders will meet, but said there was no final date for the visit yet.

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Erywan said a request for access to Suu Kyi had been submitted to the State Administration Council, which is chaired by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. But such access is not a requirement under the five-point consensus reached by ASEAN in April.

The consensus includes an end to violence and the start of peace talks between all parties.

Erywan said his consultations with the junta and others on the ground were “progressing quite well.”

He said he was trying to form a team of advisers to support his role as envoy. The team could include Myanmar’s neighbours, including India and Bangladesh. [ah]

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