Washington [US], October 16 (ANI): A senior State Department official on Friday backed the exclusion of the Myanmar military leader from an upcoming summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"It seems perfectly appropriate and, in fact, completely justified for ASEAN to downgrade Burma's [Myanmar's] participation [in the summit]," the official said during a press briefing, as quoted by Sputnik. "We are supporting all efforts to promote a just and peaceful resolution to the crisis [in Myanmar], the restoration of democratic institutions and we fully respect ASEAN's decisions there."
US officials have been talking about downgrading the participation of Myanmar in future ASEAN summits and meetings, the official added.
This comes after ASEAN members decided to exclude Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing from participation in the upcoming summit in response to the military's unwillingness to engage with the regional bloc to resolve the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country.
The United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the European Union on Friday extended their support to the ASEAN special envoy for Myanmar ahead of his trip to the junta-run country.
The declaration, also inked by New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and Timor Leste, said the signatories endorsed ASEAN's efforts to "chart a course out of the current crisis in Myanmar." "We welcome the prospective visit to Myanmar by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei," they said.
The nations called on Myanmar to engage constructively with the ASEAN Special Envoy to also implement other aspects of the Five-Point Consensus swiftly and completely.
The visit is part of the Five Point Consensus struck by ASEAN with the junta's leader, Min Aung Hlaing, in April. The allies pledged the support of the Bruneian diplomat's attempts to facilitate its implementation, including an immediate end to violence, dialogue among all parties, and humanitarian access.
The military seized power in Myanmar on February 1, imprisoning the nation's de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and prompting mass protests demanding a return to civilian rule. (ANI)