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Jakarta Post

Pandemic concerns overshadow ASEAN meeting in Jakarta

Show of solidarity: ASEAN leaders pose during the opening ceremony of the 34th summit of the regional grouping in Bangkok on June 23, 2019. During the summit the leaders approved the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific.(AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy)
Dian Septiari
PREMIUM
Jakarta   ●   Fri, April 23 2021

ASEAN leaders are set to meet in person this weekend to address a bloody crisis that has played out in Myanmar since the military instigated a coup in February.

It will be their first face-to-face gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Though hopes for a peaceful solution in Myanmar are riding on the results of this high-level gathering, concerns over the pandemic have prompted some leaders to skip the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta altogether.

Brunei’s Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah, who leads the monarchy’s chairmanship of the regional bloc, announced the meeting last week after intensive rounds of diplomatic lobbying, following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s proposal last month to hold a special summit to discuss the turmoil in Myanmar.

It would be the first time a gathering of the region’s leaders would be...

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