Indonesian Jokowi urges dialogue for Myanmar

Arief Budi
Arief Budi

Global Courant 2023-05-08 08:05:00

LABUAN BAJO – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged ASEAN leaders to resolve the conflict in Myanmar through dialogue, not sanctions, as his country prepares for the ASEAN summit on Wednesday.

As the rotating chairman of ASEAN in 2023, Indonesia has sought to uphold “the principle of cooperation and cooperation with everyone” and ensure that the regional bloc “does not become a proxy for anyone or any country,” he stressed.

“Because we want ASEAN to be open and work with everyone and with every country, solving problems within ASEAN should be done through the principle of dialogue. This is very important, especially in the case of Myanmar,” Widodo told reporters on Sunday after arriving in Labuan Bajo, the fishing village on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia where the two-day conference is taking place.

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Several countries, including the United States and Britain, have imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s junta over the military coup on February 1, 2021. The civil unrest in the aftermath of the coup has left hundreds of civilians dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

As one of the most outspoken critics of the junta in ASEAN, Indonesia is under increasing pressure from rights groups to take tougher measures to address the military regime’s atrocities.

“(The Myanmar issue) will be discussed specifically…but it must be resolved through dialogue. In my opinion, sanctions are not a solution,” said Mr. Widodo, or better known as Jokowi.

The president reiterated that the five-point consensus issued in April 2021 by nine ASEAN leaders and junta chief Min Aung Hlaing will remain a valid reference.

The agreement called for dialogue between all parties, an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar, the appointment of an ASEAN special envoy to facilitate mediation, ASEAN to deliver humanitarian aid and a visit by an ASEAN delegation to Myanmar to meet with all concerned. parties.

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Mr Widodo’s statement came after Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said last Friday that Indonesia had engaged in “non-megaphone diplomacy” to build confidence and resolve the crisis through more than 60 “understandings” involving the deposed government. of national unity (NUG), its military regime, was involved. and the United Nations.

The president also urged Myanmar to “take an active role in the dialogues” initiated by ASEAN.

Asean has banned Myanmar’s ruling junta from important meetings since 2022 because its peace plan has not been implemented, including starting talks with its opponents and ending violence in Myanmar.

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A non-political representative from military-ruled Myanmar has been invited to attend the summit.

Eight leaders, as well as ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn, are expected to attend. Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, the Prime Minister of East Timor, will also be attending the meeting as an observer for the first time, according to Indonesia’s foreign ministry, as his country seeks to join the group.

Labuan Bajo, the main gateway to Komodo National Park, has become a hive of activity ahead of the 42nd Asean Summit, the first of two summits, the latter of which will be held in Jakarta in September. Banners with the logo of the ASEAN summit hang from lampposts, restaurants are full and hotel rooms are full of delegates and journalists.

Indonesian Jokowi urges dialogue for Myanmar

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