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Jakarta Post

Prayuth to skip ASEAN summit on Myanmar in Jakarta

Prayuth to skip ASEAN summit on Myanmar in Jakarta This handout from the Royal Thai Government taken and released on September 3, 2019 shows Myanmar's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (left) meeting Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha at the government house in Bangkok. (AFP/Handout)
News Desk
Bangkok, Thailand   ●   Tue, April 20, 2021 2021-04-20 13:23 23 559f5bc8c5224ad06a25184c0a3d8860 2 SE Asia Myanmar,ASEAN,Thailand,jakarta,summit,Prayuth-Chan-ocha Free

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday that he would not be attending a summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta on April 24, where the crisis in army-ruled Myanmar is set to be discussed.

Prayuth said Thailand would be represented by Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai, who is also foreign minister, at the meeting of ASEAN leaders at the bloc's Jakarta headquarters, Reuters reported.

AFP meanwhile reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his predecessor Ban Ki-moon urged governments in southeast Asia to push to end the crisis in Myanmar, during a video conference of Security Council leaders.

"I urge leaders to take immediate and concerted actions," said Ban ahead of a special summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Myanmar on Saturday in Indonesia.

"They should agree that a high level delegation will visit Myanmar to engage with all relevant parties. I am sincerely appealing to ASEAN leaders to step up together with the United Nations to help the people and country of Myanmar."

He said he regretted divisions within ASEAN that have prevented a united response, and called for the UN Security Council, which has also been split over Myanmar, "to act decisively to prevent the worst in Myanmar and beyond."

Guterres said that "ASEAN's role is more crucial than ever as the region faces an urgent crisis in Myanmar.

"The situation requires a robust international response grounded on a unified regional effort.

"I urge regional actors to leverage their influence to prevent further deterioration and, ultimately, find a peaceful way out of this catastrophe."

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing is expected to join the ASEAN summit -- his first official overseas trip since the February coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The army has moved to quell mass protests against its rule, killing at least 730 people according to a local monitoring group.