The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have not yet been able to reach a consensus on the appointment of an ASEAN Special Representative for Myanmar, a diplomatic source close to the talks told Sputnik after a virtual meeting chaired by Brunei
BANGKOK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd August, 2021) The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have not yet been able to reach a consensus on the appointment of an ASEAN Special Representative for Myanmar, a diplomatic source close to the talks told Sputnik after a virtual meeting chaired by Brunei.
"At the first event in a series of meetings of ASEAN Foreign Ministers and Dialogue Partners of the bloc, the 54th Annual Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers, which took place yesterday [August 2], the parties did not reach consensus on the candidacy of the ASEAN Chairman's Special Representative for Myanmar," a source told the agency.
During the meeting, two of the four previously proposed candidates were discussed. The candidacy of the former deputy foreign minister of Thailand and now the Thai senator, Virasakdi Futrakul, was not approved by Indonesia.
At the moment, the main contender for the post is Brunei's Second Foreign Minister for ASEAN, Erivan Yusof, who is currently hosting virtual ASEAN events. However, Myanmar still hasn't approved his candidacy.
Meanwhile, Indonesian state news agency Antara reported that Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who is on an official visit to the United States, has called on ASEAN for a more constructive dialogue with Myanmar and the early appointment of a special envoy who, in accordance with the decisions of the April meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers, should become a mediator in negotiations between the military authorities of Myanmar and the opposition in order to achieve an early end to political violence in the country.
In February, the military came to power in Myanmar by arresting civilian leaders. A fierce confrontation between the military authorities and the opposition is currently taking place, as a result of which more than a thousand people died in clashes between anti-government demonstrators, the police and the military in six months alone.
On Monday, the annual ASEAN Ministerial Week kicked off. Foreign ministers of ASEAN countries started a series of separate virtual meetings with their Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean counterparts as part of the annual ASEAN-led gathering taking place from August 2 to August 7. The ministers are expected to discuss the crisis in Myanmar, the South China Sea disputes, the COVID-19 response, and other pressing regional issues.