Thailand-led talks on Myanmar held despite widespread criticism

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This picture shows a vacant chair for the Myanmar delegation during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' meeting in Labuan Bajo on May 9, 2023. (Photo by MAST IRHAM / POOL / AFP)

Bangkok, June (20)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand announced on June 19 that informal meetings on the Myanmar issue will be held despite the criticism, and it will be attended by some ASEAN member countries, including the Myanmar military junta.

Thailand has held a number of informal meetings on Myanmar in a variety of formats and levels, and this would be the third informal dialogue, with high-level representatives from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, China, Brunei, and Vietnam expected to attend.

According to the statement, while it is not being held under the ASEAN framework, it is intended to support ASEAN efforts to resolve the situation in Myanmar.

Dr. Sai Kyi Zin Soe, a political analyst, said, “If the Myanmar military junta is allowed to participate in the Track 1.5 Dialogue, there are countries that fear that the military will be recognized indirectly. This is also an attempt by China related to economic projects in the ASEAN region. Thailand and China are engaged in negotiations, especially on trade and economic issues.

The first Track 1.5 Dialogue on Myanmar issues was held by Thailand in March, and the second one was hosted by India in April. The participants included high-ranking officials and scholars from China, India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Japan, and some ASEAN countries.

Recently, Thailand invited ASEAN foreign ministers to attend the informal Track 1.5 Dialogue on Myanmar, but rotating ASEAN chairman Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore declined the invitation.

As of June 19, the military council’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to release any statement regarding the informal Track 1.5 Dialogue on Myanmar led by Thailand.

According to leaked documents, the talks were scheduled to be held on June 18 and 19, and Thailand invited representatives from the military council, and more than 300 Myanmar social organizations, including the National Unity Government (NUG), protested against Thailand’s invitation.

According to Ko Ye, a Myanmar activist, these talks will have no impact on the current situation in Myanmar or the revolution.

“Furthermore, the Myanmar people will not forgive the fact that neighboring China and India, which are related to Myanmar’s interests, are significantly supporting the military regime and informal talks, and those countries will suffer the consequences,” said Ko Ye.

In late December last year, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister invited ASEAN member countries held an informal meeting in Thailand to resolve the Myanmar crisis.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as a delegation led by Wunna Maung Lwin, the Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of the military council. However, no specific conclusions regarding how to resolve the Myanmar issue were reached.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-BRT News

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