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PM suggests steps to resolve Myanmar crisis

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ASEAN leaders at their unofficial summit in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. AFP

PM suggests steps to resolve Myanmar crisis

Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested three practical steps towards a solution for the Myanmar crisis during the special ASEAN summit on Myanmar held on April 24 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The summit was initiated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the current ASEAN Chair.

With many lessons learned from his win-win policies having successfully achieved a lasting peace and reconciliation between all warring sides in Cambodia, Hun Sen proposals emphasised the paramount importance of a cessation of violence on all sides and the exercise of the utmost restraint from all stake holders.

He suggested that Myanmar accept active intervention on the ground there by ASEAN starting with the dispatch of a special envoy to Myanmar from ASEAN to facilitate mediation and to help coordinate humanitarian assistance from ASEAN’s member nations.

He said that those three steps would contribute greatly to realising the Five-point Consensus of April 24, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s press statement.

“He emphasised the importance of trust building and political commitment from all parties in Myanmar to accommodate each other’s concerns and to make the primary objective there an end to all bloodshed and achievement of a durable peace and harmony,” the statement said.

The ASEAN leaders had earlier reached a five-point consensus on steps to de-escalate tensions in Myanmar in order to enable constructive dialogue and gradually move towards a peaceful solution.

The consensus included ending all acts of violence, constructive dialogue among all parties concerned in the interests of the people and dispatching the ASEAN Chair’s special envoy to facilitate a dialogue process.

They also suggested provision of humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management (AHA Center), with a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy to meet all parties concerned.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia said the broad consensus achieved by ASEAN leaders was a good start towards a solution.

“We rarely have seen a consensus among ASEAN leaders regarding the internal affairs of another member state,” he said.

The result of the summit, he said, shows the central role that ASEAN could play in stopping Myanmar’s domestic crisis before it can develop into a regional one. The ASEAN intervention could also help to prevent interference from the two global superpowers – China and USA – who are currently vying to gain an upper hand over each other in Southeast Asian regional geopolitics.

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