Myanmar junta representative to attend ASEAN meet for first time in two years

After declining ASEAN’s invitations to send ‘non-political representatives’ since 2021, the military regime has sent a high-ranking official from its foreign affairs ministry to talks in Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos - Myanmar’s junta sent a senior official to a gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers in Laos on Monday—the first time the diplomatically isolated country has attended a high-level meeting of the regional bloc in more than two years.

The country has been ravaged by deadly violence since a 2021 military coup deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government and unleashed a bloody crackdown on dissent.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has led diplomatic efforts to ease the crisis but has little to show for it, with more than 4,400 people killed and nearly 20,000 in detention in the military crackdown according to a local monitoring group.

ASEAN has barred junta leaders from its summits and ministerial meetings since October 2021, and the generals have refused invitations to send “non-political” representatives. But on Monday senior foreign ministry bureaucrat. . .

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