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Cambodia PM appeals to Myanmar junta for access to Aung San Suu Kyi

CNA – Cambodia’s Prime Minister urged Myanmar’s top general to allow a special Southeast Asian envoy access to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in his strongest call so far for the junta chief to demonstrate commitment to a regional peace process.

Chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Hun Sen in a video call on Monday told Min Aung Hlaing (CNA, pic right) it was crucial the envoy meets stakeholders in Myanmar, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who in recent months has been convicted of corruption and incitement.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since Min Aung Hlaing led a coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government 15 months ago.

ASEAN’s five-point Myanmar peace “consensus”, backed by the United Nations and major powers, remains the only formal diplomatic initiative in play, but regional leaders are frustrated at what they see as stonewalling by the junta.

“He re-emphasised the importance of access for the special envoy to meet all parties concerned in Myanmar… for creating conducive environment to start an inclusive political dialogue,” a Cambodian Foreign Ministry statement said of Hun Sen’s call.

Min Aung Hlaing in response “pledged to facilitate meetings with other parties concerned”, it said, and that Myanmar authorities were facilitating humanitarian aid distribution.

A spokesman for Myanmar’s military rulers did not immediately respond to a request
for comment.

ASEAN barred Myanmar’s generals from attending key meetings, including an upcoming summit in the United States, until its military ends hostilities, allows dialogue and
humanitarian access.

The junta said it is committed to the agreement, but has a duty to ensure security.