Opening of the ASEAN summit, Burma on the agenda

Opening of the ASEAN summit, Burma on the agenda

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual summit opened on Friday as the political crisis and rising violence in Burma are expected to dominate discussions.

Many officials from ASEAN member countries have accused Burma’s ruling military junta of failing to implement the roadmap for peace drawn up last year, which includes an end to hostilities and access to humanitarian agencies.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called for vigilance and wisdom during this period of economic and geopolitical turbulence in his opening address.

“We are now at a crossroads of which there is doubt. The lives of millions (of people) in our region depend on our wisdom and foresight,” he said.

ASEAN, which excluded the head of the Burmese junta from its summits last year, reaffirmed its commitment to the peace roadmap adopted in April 2021. However, some members want to take a tougher stance on Burma.

Burma’s military junta seized power on February 1, 2021, overthrowing the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and plunging the country into chaos.

(Report by Phnom Penh, A. Ananthalakshmi, Ananda Teresia, Stanley Widianto, Francesco Guarascio, Kay Johnson, Karen Lema and Xinghui Kok, written by Kanupriya Kapoor and Ed Davies; French version Camille Raynaud)


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