JAKARTA, MAR 19: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday urged a halt to violence in Myanmar and asked the fellow leaders of Southeast Asia countries to hold a summit on the crisis.
“Indonesia urges that the use of violence in Myanmar be stopped immediately to avoid more victims,” Widodo told a televised address, offering his condolences to the victims and their families.
More than 200 people have been killed by security forces since the Feb. 1 coup, according to credible tallies. Nearly 2,000 have been jailed.
Widodo, the leader of Southeast Asia’s largest economy, said that he will immediately contact the sultan of Brunei, which holds the rotating presidency of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to set up an ASEAN summit to address Myanmar’s turmoil.
Widodo’s comments came after ASEAN foreign ministers held their first meeting early this month since the coup, which deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her allies.
Brunei issued its own chairman’s statement after the ministers apparently failed to agree on a declaration in the meeting where Myanmar’s top diplomat briefed them during a video conference. It said the ministers called on all parties in Myanmar to refrain from instigating further violence and start talks on a peaceful solution.
ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.