Myanmar Junta Holds Bilateral Talks With New ASEAN Chair Cambodia

Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister on Tuesday held talks in Cambodia, the new chair of the Southeast Asian bloc seeking to engage with Naypyidaw’s junta.

Myanmar’s Wunna Maung Lwin visited Cambodia at the invitation of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen only a day after a Myanmar court sentenced ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on charges which critics described as politically motivated.

Handout photos from the Cambodian government showed Wunna Maung Lwin meeting with Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.

The Cambodian prime minister had earlier said in an inauguration for a highway in Prey Veng province that Myanmar had a right to attend meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), months after the junta was barred from joining the bloc’s annual summit.

Hun Sen confirmed after the meeting that he will be visiting Myanmar on Jan. 7-8 to engage in “quiet diplomacy” with the military government. With Cambodia set to take the chairmanship of ASEAN next year, analysts see the move as a sign that Hun Sen will push for the bloc’s direct engagement with the junta.

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