11 July 2024

ASEAN rotational chairs, both past and future, will hold their first meeting next month to discuss progress on the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus and the situation in Myanmar, according to a diplomatic source.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said that the ASEAN Troika, originally scheduled for last month, was postponed to July 24. At that time, the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Laos will meet with the Lao special envoy on Myanmar, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, in Vientiane.

The troika meeting will be convened ahead of the ASEAN ministerial meeting on July 25. The Lao chair has designated the week of July 21-27 for the ASEAN ministerial-related meetings.

Prior to the ministerial meeting, there will be a series of senior official meetings to prepare agendas and agreements for their leaders to consider.

At the end of January, the Lao chair invited a senior Myanmar official to attend the ASEAN foreign ministers’ retreat and endorse the Thai-Myanmar humanitarian assistance plan, the first phase of which was carried out at the end of April. According to the source, the second phase has yet to start.

At the Vientiane meeting, Algeria will become the 55th country to accede to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC). The chair is also planning to organize a forum for TAC signatories to meet later this year.

The ASEAN foreign ministers will also hold a series of meetings with their counterparts from dialogue partners.

During the ASEAN post-ministerial meeting with South Korea, ASEAN will announce Seoul’s upgrade to a comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP). ASEAN currently has five CSPs: China, Australia, the US, India, and Japan.

by Thai PBS World
File photo : Lao Special Envoy on Myanmar Alounkeo Kittikhoun (L) shakes hands with Burmese military dictator Min Aung Hlaing, right in Naypyidaw, Burma, Wednesday, January 10, 2024.//AP