Myanmar’s seat at the upcoming 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (55th AMM) and Related Meetings will remain vacant, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told the Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) in an exclusive interview here yesterday.
Due to the lack of consensus among the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, only a non-political Myanmar representative can be invited for the meetings to be hosted by Cambodia from July 31 to Aug. 6, he explained.
“Myanmar’s answer is the same. A non-political representative cannot be appointed to join the meetings. Therefore, Myanmar’s seat will remain vacant,” said H.E. Prak Sokhonn, also Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar.
Like in previous meetings, the invitation of a non-political representative was rejected by Myanmar on the grounds that the principles of ASEAN enshrined in the ASEAN Charter state clearly about the equality of ASEAN Member States, firstly and secondly, nothing has been mentioned about the issue of representation of a member country in the bloc’s meetings, thus it should not be used to force Myanmar to lower its level to non-political representation at the meetings, he added.
“Myanmar refuses to attend [the forthcoming meetings], so all ASEAN members consider that Myanmar has waived its right to participate in the meetings,” Prak Sokhonn stressed.
Anyway, he continued, Cambodia will not give up on Myanmar and is trying to pave way to bring the country back to the regional community.
“There have been progress and regression in our effort to reach the ASEAN 5-Point Consensus to end crisis in Myanmar, however, Cambodia remains optimistic,” he said. “At least, Cambodia can pave way for the next chair of ASEAN to achieve the 5-Point Consensus.”
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press