Asean foreign ministers to meet next month in Jakarta

Asean foreign ministers to meet next month in Jakarta

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will gather in Jakarta next month to narrow topics to be discussed at the group's summit in November, the Indonesian government said Friday.

The upcoming meeting, which is likely to focus on Myanmar issues, was decided by the Asean foreign ministers during their informal talks in New York on Thursday, held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, according to the Foreign Ministry. The talks excluded Myanmar.

Myanmar is an Asean member, but the country's foreign minister and the chief of its military government have been excluded from meetings of the 10-member bloc since October last year.

During the meeting in New York, a statement released by the ministry said that Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had proposed a special discussion on implementing a five-point consensus during the Asean summit in Phnom Penh.

The consensus reached by the leaders of Asean, including Myanmar junta chief Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing, at a special summit in April 2021, refers primarily to ending violence against the junta's political opponents and civilian protesters.

Over the special discussions on Myanmar, all other Asean foreign ministers expressed agreement, according to the statement. However, the exact dates of the ministerial meeting in October remain unknown.

The bloc also groups Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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