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SAC foreign affairs chief: 5PC to be led by Myanmar

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Foreign minister Prak Sokhonn (left) shakes hands with SAC chairman Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar on Monday. MFAIC

SAC foreign affairs chief: 5PC to be led by Myanmar

Wunna Maung Lwin, the foreign minister appointed by Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), has told ASEAN special envoy Prak Sokhonn that the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) must be a ‘Myanmar-owned’ and ‘Myanmar-led’ process.

Wunna Maung Lwin made the remarks on March 21 at a reception for Sokhonn, ASEAN secretary-general Lim Jock Hoi and the Cambodian delegation, who are in the bloc’s westernmost country for a three-day visit from March 20-23.

According to a press statement from the Myanmar foreign ministry, Wunna Maung Lwin highlighted that the special envoy’s first visit to Myanmar would pave the way for confidence building and understanding to promote cooperation in ASEAN.

Wunna Maung Lwin said the country is committed to continuing its cooperation with ASEAN in implementing the 5PC, and that Myanmar’s commitment has been demonstrated since the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta, it added.

Sokhonn and his delegation also met with Ko Ko Hlaing – the SAC-appointed minister for international cooperation and chairman of the Task Force to Facilitate the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Myanmar – on the same day.

During the meeting, Ko Ko Hlaing and Sokhonn had exchanged views on the provision of humanitarian assistance to Myanmar for Phase-1 and regarding the preparations for Phase-2, the Myanmar foreign ministry said.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials and task force leaders including health minister Thet Khaing Win and minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Thet Thet Khine.

Simultaneously, the National Unity Government (NUG) – or government in exile – issued a press statement calling on Sokhonn to also meet with its leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Retweeting the message of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy said: “We’re supporting ASEAN’s efforts … and appreciate the work of ASEAN’s Special Envoy, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who arrived in [Myanmar] today … The FM’s [Foreign Minister’s] experience, and that of his country, in enduring a genocide, gives crucial perspective.”

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian
Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, said it is a “good move forward” that the ASEAN delegation had visited and met for talks with Myanmar.

“As ASEAN chair, Cambodia is seeking a sustainable solution rooted in equality to encourage the Myanmar leader to accept the implementation of the 5PC,” he said. “Cambodia expects that Myanmar will support and carry out the 5PC for the sake of the Myanmar people and ASEAN as a whole,” he told The Post.

Mengdavid added that Myanmar should permit the special envoy to be able to meet all parties concerned, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in order to resolve Myanmar’s political crisis “peacefully and inclusively”.

The Cambodian foreign ministry said Sokhonn will hold a press conference on March 23 when he arrives at Phnom Penh International Airport regarding his visit to Myanmar.

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