The foreign ministers of five ASEAN countries, including Myanmar, met for a December 22 ‘informal consultation’ in Thailand. The talks were held in an effort to find a peaceful solution to the Myanmar crisis.

The meeting was proposed by Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai, and was attended by the foreign ministers of Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao, in addition to the host. Also present were the Myanmar union ministers responsible for foreign affairs and international cooperation, investment and foreign economic relations.

In a December 22 statement, the Cambodian foreign affairs ministry said the meeting was much in line with Point 14 of the ASEAN Leaders’ Review and Decision on the Implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. It underlines the importance of exploring other approaches that could support ASEAN’s collective efforts to help Myanmar bring about a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

“The open-ended informal consultation provided a good opportunity for ministers and other representatives to have open, frank and meaningful discussion, and receive updates from Myanmar on its efforts to implement the Five-Point Consensus.

“Importantly, they also exchanged views on practical approaches that could expedite the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. This included an exit strategy, which could help return normalcy and peace to Myanmar as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

Cambodian foreign minister Prak Sokhonn, in his capacity as the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy, also earned praise for his efforts to facilitate the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, in particular his insistence on the provision of humanitarian assistance to those most in need.

“Cambodia will render full support to the incoming ASEAN chair Indonesia, and its Special Envoy, in helping Myanmar find a peaceful political settlement and return to a democratic path for the interests of its people and ASEAN as a whole,” the ministry said.