The Philippines Doesn't Want Myanmar's Junta Leader to Attend the ASEAN Summit

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© Provided by Esquire Philippines

The Philippines warned the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) about allowing Myanmar’s junta leader to participate in a summit that will take place from October 26 to 28. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. voiced his concerns at an event hosted by Australian think tank Lowy Institute.

“We can continue keeping [Myanmar] at a distance but … if we relent in any way, our credibility as a real regional organization disappears,” said Locsin. 

Locsin voiced support for excluding Min Aung Hlaing from future summits, saying there should also be discussions about it, according to a report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

Countries in Favor of Excluding Myanmar’s Junta Leader

Aside from the Philippines, other Southeast Asian countries that have indicated their willingness to exclude Min Aung Hlaing from the ASEAN Summit are Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, according to SCMP.  

ASEAN’s special envoy to Myanmar, Erywan Yusof, confirmed to Reuters that some members of the bloc are in deep talks about excluding the junta leader. 

Myanmar’s military forcefully took over the government on February 1, 2021. It toppled Aung San Suu Kyi after she won a landslide election victory under the party National League for Democracy.  

In the early part of its takeover, Myanmar used Russian-made MiG-29 jet fighters to bomb rebel positions in the countryside. It also issued arrest warrants to over 5,000 local celebrities who voiced opposition to the junta.  

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