Friday, September 30, 2022

Malaysian foreign minister meets Myanmar opposition figures

BANGKOK ( Associated Press) – The foreign minister of Myanmar’s shadow government, which opposes the military council that runs the conflict-torn Southeast Asian nation, described Sunday’s meeting with Malaysian foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah as “productive”.

Saturday’s meeting in Washington was the first publicly acknowledged occasion when a ministerial-level official from one of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations held one-on-one talks with a counterpart in Myanmar’s opposition national unity government.

NUG Foreign Minister Xin Mar Aung said on Twitter that his “productive meeting” with Saifuddin included “the dire situation in Myanmar and how NUG and Malaysia can work together to restore peace and democracy in Myanmar, including humanitarian assistance”. and includes support for Myanmar refugees”. ,

Their meeting, which has been described as “informal”, took place in the backdrop of the ASEAN-US summit on Saturday. on Thursday and Friday. The ASEAN foreign ministers had their meeting ahead of the summit.

Myanmar is a member of ASEAN, but not ready to implement The regional group’s plan to try to restore peace in the country, where the military seized power in February last year, toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government. Opposition to the military rule is widespread, and some UN experts portray the country as now in a state of civil war.

The military’s failure to follow through with the plan, which was proposed last year, led fellow ASEAN members to block Myanmar’s leaders last October from attending key meetings of the regional grouping. The military government instead turned down an invitation to the presence of a non-political official.

Saturday’s meeting is a minor breakthrough for NUG, which has sought international diplomatic recognition without success. It was established by elected parliamentarians, who were denied their seats by military takeover, considered themselves to be the legitimate government of the country and enjoyed widespread public support. However, the country’s military leaders have officially designated it an illegal terrorist organization and have refused to associate with it.

Saifuddin tweeted on Saturday that he met Jin Mar Aung to express Malaysia’s support and solidarity with the people of Myanmar and is ready to work towards restoring peace and democracy in Myanmar.

They discussed challenges including “humanitarian aid, technical training and education for Myanmar refugees”.

The US maintains diplomatic relations with Myanmar but has diplomatic and economic sanctions against its military leaders. The head of the military government, Senior General Min Aung Huling, was not invited to the Washington summit.

Jin Mar Aung met US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman last week. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Sherman “underlined the strong American support for the Burmese people in the face of the regime’s brutal crackdown and all those working peacefully toward the restoration of Burma’s path to inclusive democracy.” Pledged to continue providing support to the people.”

United States officials refer to Myanmar by the old name of Burma, which was replaced by the previous military government.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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