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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Cambodian PM as ASEAN President called Myanmar Army General Min Aung Hlaing

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen as ASEAN President, during a video call, urged the military ruler of Myanmar to allow a special envoy from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to visit and support the access to humanitarian aid, an official said Wednesday.

During the video call, Hun Sen asked him to follow up on a five-point agreement to deal with the conflict in Myanmar, Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state at Cambodia’s foreign ministry, told reporters.

In April last year, Army General Min Aung Hlaing agreed in a face-to-face meeting with ASEAN leaders to pledge to end hostilities, ensure humanitarian access and support inclusive dialogue.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on all parties, including the government of Myanmar, to stop the violence and reach a ceasefire.
He also called on all parties to join ASEAN countries in providing humanitarian aid “to the people of Myanmar who need it most”,.

The crisis in Myanmar began about a year ago when the military overthrew an elected government nearly a year earlier.
Since then, nearly 1,500 civilians have been killed in the junta’s crackdown on its opponents and troops in campaigns fighting on multiple fronts with pro-democracy militias and armies of ethnic minorities.

The junta says it is fighting the “terrorists”.

Secretary of state Kao Kim Hourn did not say how Min Aung Hlaing responded to the proposals. A spokesperson for the Myanmar military government did not respond to a call seeking comment on Wednesday’s discussion.

The Cambodian leader came to effective power in 1993.
Today he is one of the longest-serving leaders in the world with 36 years of power behind him.
He met Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar on January 7, a trip that worried some neighbors in the region that could be interpreted as an endorsement by the junta.

He expressed to Min Aung Hlaing his concern that hostilities had occurred after their meeting, Kao Kim Hourn said.

As ASEAN president, Hun Sen was pressured to keep Min Aung Hlaing from the ASEAN deal. Some members called for the release of the ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has since been convicted of several crimes, and for the opportunity to participate in a peace process.

Last year, ASEAN had a surprise by excluding the junta from key meetings for its non-compliance with the ASEAN consensus.

Mirko Bennardo
Author: Mirko Bennardo

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