ASEAN Excludes Myanmar Army General Min Aung Hlaing from Upcoming Leaders’ Summit

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced on Oct. 16 that it will exclude Myanmar’s military chief from an upcoming leaders’ summit.

After an emergency ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting on Oct. 15, the 10-member bloc said that it agreed to invite a “non-political representative” from Myanmar instead of Army General Min Aung Hlaing to the virtual summits on Oct. 26 to Oct. 28.

The regional bloc did not give further details on the representative, such as who they will be and how they will be selected.

ASEAN said that the turmoil in Myanmar following the military coup that began last February “was having an impact on regional security, as well as the unity, credibility, and centrality of ASEAN.”

According to ASEAN, Myanmar’s military leaders had refused to fulfill promises of dialogue and de-escalation of its bloody situation.

“Some ASEAN Member States recommended that ASEAN give space to Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy in accordance with the will of the people of Myanmar,” ASEAN stated.

Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was “extremely disappointed.”

“Myanmar’s representation issue was done without consensus and was against the objectives of the ASEAN, the ASEAN Charter, and its principles,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar, which is in exile after the coup, said that it “appreciates” ASEAN’s decision.

NUG urged ASEAN to ensure that the Myanmar representative “could objectively represent the interest of Myanmar and its people.”

NUG added that it “stands ready” to recommend a representative.

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