Myanmar military won't allow Asean envoy to meet Suu Kyi

Myanmar military won't allow Asean envoy to meet Suu Kyi

Asean's special envoy to Myanmar, Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Pehin Yusof. (Reuters file photo)
Asean's special envoy to Myanmar, Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Pehin Yusof. (Reuters file photo)

Myanmar's ruling military has not blocked a special Southeast Asian envoy from visiting the country but will not allow him to meet detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, because she is charged with crimes, the junta's spokesman said.

A delay in the United Nations approving the military government's nomination of a UN  ambassador nomination was politically motivated, spokesman Zaw Min Tun added.

The UN and other countries and organisations "should avoid double standards when they are engaging in international affairs", he said.

The spokesman's remarks, issued by the military in a summary dated Wednesday, come as international pressure builds on the junta to implement a five-point peace plan its top general Min Aung Hlaing agreed to in April with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)

Myanmar has been in political and economic paralysis since the military's Feb 1 coup, which triggered an outpouring of anger and protest that has not abated, with some civilians forming militias to take on the powerful army.

The junta's inaction on the Asean plan was "tantamount to backtracking" and some member countries were "deep in discussions" about excluding Min Aung Hlaing from a summit this month, Erywan Yusof, the bloc's special envoy, said last week.

Erywan earlier this week said he was in consultations with parties in Myanmar, does not take sides or political positions and looks forward to a visit.

The junta spokesman also insisted Myanmar's judicial system was fair and independent would handle Aung San Suu Kyi's case accordingly, adding the chief justice was appointed by the previous government.

Asean in August appointed Erywan, Brunei's second foreign affairs minister, its special envoy to end the turmoil in Myanmar and open a dialogue between the military rulers and their opponents.

Erywan said in September there was an urgent need that he visit Myanmar, "but I think before all that, I need to have assurances. I need to be able to have a clear picture of what I'm supposed to do, what they are going to allow me to do when I visit".

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