Myanmar crisis has different impacts on ASEAN countries, says Singaporean FM

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Yangon, 5 February

The ongoing crisis in Myanmar has more impacts on its immediate neighbours than others in ASEAN region, and it has created different levels of anxiety and concern in the region, said Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

 He also pointed out ASEAN needs to maintain unity in striving for its proposed plan of 5-point agreement and to ensure reconciliation in Myanmar.

 The bloc adopted this plan for Myanmar in April 2021 after the military takeover from the democratically elected government.

However, the junta failed to observe the common agreements. As a consequence of the coup, thousands of people were killed and the country was plunged into chaos.

During the two days meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers, Vivian said to reporters, “If the crisis in Myanmar would affect Asean unity, given that there might be differing opinions on how to handle the situation there.”

“If things get far worse, and you get heavy flows of refugees, obviously it affects the immediate neighbours more than it affects those who are farther away,” said Vivian, adding that in discussions among the leaders, there was consensus that Asean must stay united in how it deals with the Myanmar crisis.

ASEAN’s   five-point consensus peace plans are an immediate end to violence in the country; dialogue among all parties concerned; the appointment of an Asean special envoy to facilitate mediation; the provision of humanitarian assistance by Asean; and a visit by the special envoy to Myanmar to meet all parties.

He also stressed,  “If that can be achieved, or it is making progress starting that process, I think that will lower the temperature. It will lower the level of violence, and certainly lower the probability of it.”

 News—Than Lwin Times

Ref, Straits Times

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