11 July 2024

Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and ASEAN special envoy Prak Sokhonn is planning a third official visit to Myanmar in a bid to prod the ruling military junta to comply with the grouping’s five-point peace initiative, according to Khmer Times.

Sokhonn’s term as special envoy will end this year along with Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship.

“As the ASEAN Chair 2022, Cambodia remains committed to moving forward the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, and therefore, the ASEAN Chair special envoy stands ready to pay his third visit to Myanmar anytime by the end of 2022 when we see the possibility for progress in this purpose,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry told Khmer Times,

The announcement came a few days after Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia opposed elections planned by the military junta next year.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw in January and Sokhonn as special envoy visited the country twice in March and June.

Sounry said that during the recent ASEAN Summits in Phnom Penh, the bloc leaders agreed to continue to pursue the five-point consensus adopted in April last year to help resolve the crisis in Myanmar.

He said as the ASEAN chair, Cambodia has sent a message to Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC), the military junta running the country, “making it clear that the SAC has to abide by the 5PC, if not it will face ASEAN’s tougher measures.”

Malaysia is the first ASEAN country to openly voice opposition to a plan by the military junta to hold general elections next year.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Monday that if elections were to be held, they must have the agreement of all stakeholders.

“The junta has no moral standing to talk about elections since Myanmar already had a free election recognized by international observers. The pro-democracy group won big in the elections but before the Myanmar parliament had a chance to sit, the junta seized power,” he said.

In their summit in Phnom Penh last week the ASEAN leaders agreed to engage with “stakeholders soon”, including Myanmar’s deposed civilian government, the National Unity Government (NUG) in exile.

In response, the junta said a statement said, “Myanmar categorically rejects and dissociates itself from the said review and decision made by the nine ASEAN leaders.”