Min Aung Hlaing to attend ASEAN summit

Myanmar military junta leader Gen Min Aung Hlaing

Myanmar military junta leader Gen Min Aung Hlaing will attend the ASEAN summit scheduled to be held in Jakarta on April 24, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanee Sangrat has confirmed.

Tanee said several of the ASEAN leaders have also confirmed their participation at the summit.

The spokesman provided no other details of the meeting which will be the first to be held by ASEAN leaders to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

The summit will take place at the new office of the ASEAN Secretariat.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had earlier called for a special summit to discuss the worsening situation in Myanmar which so far has seen more than 800 pro-democracy protesters killed since the military took over in a coup on February 1.

Senior ASEAN officials held a meeting last week to decide on the date and venue of the summit but were unable to reach an agreement. There were also suggestions that because of Covid-19 pandemic, the ASEAN leaders should meet virtually.

An informed source told Thai PBS World that Myanmar had initially insisted that the summit be held in Brunei but eventually agreed to go to Jakarta which was favoured as the venue by most other member countries.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai to the summit, the source said.

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