ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta leader from summit in rare move

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Southeast Asian countries will invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to a regional summit this month, delivering an unprecedented snub to the military leader who led a coup against an elected civilian government in February.

The decision taken by foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at an emergency meeting on Friday night, marks a rare bold step for the consensus-driven bloc, which has traditionally favoured a policy of engagement and non-interference.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday the move to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “difficult, but necessary, decision to uphold ASEAN’s credibility”.

The statement cited a lack of progress made on a roadmap to restore peace in Myanmar that the junta had agreed to with ASEAN in April.

A spokesman for Myanmar’s military government blamed “foreign intervention” for the decision.

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Source: Reuters