‘Deeply concerned’ about Myanmar violence, say Asean leaders


Southeast Asian nations said they are “deeply con-cerned” about the violence ravaging Myanmar, and condemned a recent attack on a convoy of diplomats delivering humanitarian aid in the country.

Turmoil in junta-ruled Myanmar has dominated talks at this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Indonesia, as the regional bloc faces criticism for its perceived inaction.

Asean has led diplomatic attempts to resolve the festering crisis, but its efforts so far have failed to stem the bloodshed unleashed by a military coup in 2021.

“We were deeply concerned with ongoing vio-lence in Myanmar and urged the immediate cessation of all forms of violence and the use of force to create a conducive environment for the safe and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogues,” Asean leaders said in a statement.

Jakarta raises hope the bloc could push for peaceful solution this year The junta has ignored international criticism and refused to engage with its opponents, which include ousted lawmakers, anti-coup “People’s Defence Forces” and armed ethnic minority groups.

“We condemned the attack and underlined that the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Asean leaders said in their statement.

Addressing the summit on Wednesday, Indone-sian President Joko Widodo said he was “confident” the 10-member bloc could deal with growing global challenges if its members were united.—AFP