President Widodo calls for immediate halt to Myanmar violence

President Widodo calls for immediate halt to Myanmar violence

President Joko Widodo and other ASEAN leaders and representatives met in Jakarta on Saturday (April 24, 2021) to discuss the Myanmar crisis. (ANTARA/HO-Biro Pers Sekretariat Presiden/Laily Rachev)

The development of the situation in Myanmar is something unacceptable and must not continue. Violence must be stopped, and democracy, stability, and peace must be restored in Myanmar soon
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for an immediate halt to violence in Myanmar and the restoration of democracy in the country at the ASEAN leaders’ meeting on Saturday.

 

"The development of the situation in Myanmar is something unacceptable and must not continue. Violence must be stopped, and democracy, stability, and peace must be restored in Myanmar soon," Widodo said during a press conference at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta .

 

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Economic Affairs Coordinating Minister Airlangga Hartarto, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung accompanied the President at the press conference.

 

Saturday’s meeting brought together 10 leaders and representatives of ASEAN member states, including Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, the ASEAN chair, and ASEAN secretary general Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

 

Commenting on Myanmar’s political crisis and efforts to resolve it, Widodo said: "The interests of the Myanmar people must always be a priority.”

 

Indonesia made three requests to Myanmar’s military junta chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, at the ASEAN meeting, he disclosed.

 

"At this meeting, I also underscored the importance of the Myanmar military chief to commit himself, first, to put a halt to the use of violence on the part of the Myanmar military," Widodo said.


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At the same time, all sides must exercise self-restraint to ease tensions, he added.

 

"The second request was a commitment to start an inclusive dialog process, and set free political detainees soon," he revealed.

 

The Indonesia President said he also underscored the need for the creation of an ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar, through whom the ASEAN secretary general and the ASEAN chair can encourage dialog with all parties in Myanmar.

 

"The third request was a commitment to open up access to humanitarian aid from ASEAN, under the coordination of the ASEAN secretary general and the AHA Center (ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management)," Widodo informed.

 

The Indonesian government is committed to guarding the realization of the three commitments in order to resolve the crisis in Myanmar soon, he said.

 

"I thank God that what Indonesia conveyed is in line with what ASEAN leaders have conveyed, so we can say ASEAN leaders have reached a consensus," he noted.

 

He said ASEAN secretary general Dato Lim Jock Ho has come up with a five-point consensus on Myanmar, which is close to Indonesia’s stance on the issue.

 

"We should also thank God that the ASEAN leaders’ meeting could eventually be held today. Since I phoned the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam on March 23, 2021 as (ASEAN) chair, Indonesia has worked hard to ensure that the meeting could be held," he added.

 

ASEAN leaders who took part in the meeting included Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, President Widodo, Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

 

Three nations of the 10-member ASEAN were represented by their foreign ministers at the meeting — Philippines (Foreign Minister Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.), Thailand (Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai), and Laos (Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith).

 

Myanmar’s military chief, General Hlaing, also attended the meeting, which was held at Jakarta’s ASEAN Secretariat. 

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