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    Thailand hosts informal meeting on Myanmar political crisis

    BANGKOK (AP) – Three Cabinet ministers from Myanmar attended an informal regional meeting in Thailand’s capital on Thursday to discuss efforts to restore peace in the military-run country, Thai officials said.

    “The open-ended informal consultation was meaningful, with ministers engaging in free-flow and proactive discussions,” Thai Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kanchana Patarachoke said. Representatives from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam also attended the meeting.

    There was no indication that the talks made any progress toward resolving Myanmar’s crisis or in facilitating more engagement with its generals. Myanmar’s military government is shunned by many nations for seizing power and violently suppressing opposition to its rule, but neighbouring Thailand has remained on good terms with the generals and refrained from serious criticism.

    The meeting came a day after the United Nations (UN) Security Council approved a resolution demanding an immediate end to violence in Myanmar and urging its military rulers to restore democratic institutions and release all “arbitrarily detained” prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The council voted 12-0 on Wednesday’s resolution, with China, India and Russia abstaining.

    Kanchana said in Thursday’s informal meeting held in Bangkok on the sidelines of Thai-Myanmar bilateral talks.

    Those attending from Myanmar included Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Kan Zaw, and Minister for International Cooperation Ko Ko Hlaing.

    Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its delegation “cordially exchanged views on the matters of Myanmar’s cooperation with ASEAN for the implementation of the ASEAN five-point consensus” and other matters. It also reiterated its defence of the military government’s actions.

    Former Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. PHOTO: AP
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