Lack of trust, political will shackling Myanmar peace process, ASEAN envoy says
The junta has become an international outcast due to its fierce crackdown on its opponents. ASEAN has barred the military from representing Myanmar at international meetings until starts to implement a peace plan.
A United Nations-backed peace plan that Myanmar’s coup leader agreed to with ASEAN in 2021 has yet to move forward and remains the only diplomatic process in play.
The five-point plan calls for an immediate end to violence, as well as dialogue between the military and the anti-coup movement.
“Issues cannot be solved by one meeting, by two meetings, by many years of meeting,” said Prak Sokhonn.
“Negotiation takes years, like the issue in Myanmar. After two visits of the special envoy, two visits only, some people start to lose patience and ask for results,” he added.
He also flagged a possible third trip to Myanmar in early September – contingent upon progress on the five-point plan.
In a statement late on Friday, Myanmar’s junta said ASEAN members should not interfere in its affairs, nor engage with “terrorists” opposed to its rule.
It said the military had always been clear that its commitment to the peace process would be determined by developments on the ground.
“ASEAN should respect the right of every member state and refrain from interference … subversion and coercion,” it said, adding the junta was making “notable progress” in peace efforts.