ASEAN foreign ministers to discuss Myanmar situation


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Myanmar following the Feb. 1 military coup, officials confirmed.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told Anadolu Agency that the virtual meeting will start at 3 p.m. Indonesian time (0800 GMT).

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also confirmed the special meeting. “A special ASEAN foreign ministers will be convened via a video conference where we will listen to the representative of Myanmar’s military authorities,” he told the parliament.

Balakrishnan called on Myanmar’s military to stop the use of lethal force against civilians, and for the immediate release President Win Myint, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

“The immediate priority is to halt all acts of violence and the use of lethal force, and to step back from a rapidly deteriorating situation,” he said.

The minister called on all parties in Myanmar to engage in discussions and to negotiate “in good faith.”

He said that despite the 10-member group’s core principles of consensus and non-interference, it could still play a constructive role in facilitating a return to normalcy and stability in Myanmar, a member state.

At least 18 people were killed on Sunday as the military regime that ousted the National League for Democracy and its leaders a month ago cracked down on protesters, according to the UN Human Rights Office.

The regional body had earlier called for “dialogue, reconciliation and the return to normalcy.”