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ASEAN, UN envoys on Myanmar discuss cooperation

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Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ASEAN Special Envoy on Myanmar Prak Sokhonn during a meeting with Noeleen Heyzer, the UN secretary-general's special envoy on Myanmar, at the Kingdom’s foreign ministry on March 31. FOREIGN MINISTRY

ASEAN, UN envoys on Myanmar discuss cooperation

ASEAN Special Envoy on Myanmar Prak Sokhonn has broken down into “three steps” his next move in the quest to resolve the myriad of challenges confronting crisis-hit Myanmar, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

This will include another virtual meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is also the ASEAN chairman for 2022, and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), the Kingdom’s foreign ministry affirmed in a press statement on March 31.

Sokhonn, who doubles as one of Cambodia’s 10 deputy prime ministers as well as the foreign minister, revealed his plan during a meeting with Noeleen Heyzer, the UN secretary-general's special envoy on Myanmar, at the Kingdom’s foreign ministry on March 31, according to the statement.

It said that the “first step” would entail “the preparation and the convening of the consultative meeting on humanitarian assistance [HA] that is planned in early May to exchange views with different stakeholders on how to effectively deliver HA to those most in need without discrimination.

“The second step will be the planned videoconference between [Hun Sen and Min Aung Hlaing] while the third one will be his second visit to Myanmar” it said, adding that Sokhonn briefed Heyzer on his first visit last week to ASEAN’s westernmost country as the bloc’s special envoy.

Touching on the challenges, Sokhonn underscored that “different political actors of Myanmar are not ready for talks and are still strongly determined to continue their struggles in all manifestations, especially through armed struggle”.

“It is obvious there is no quick fix to problems that are so deeply rooted in the country, in the society, in the mind of people,” he was quoted as saying.

The ministry said Heyzer “acknowledged the difficulties facing Cambodia as the current ASEAN chair and appreciated the endeavours by [Hun Sen and Sokhonn] in opening the way for the process of finding [a] solution to [the] Myanmar crisis”.

The special envoys also “shared the same view to work together in helping Myanmar to get out of the crisis through the ASEAN’s 5PC [Five Point Consensus]” and “discussed at length the holding of consultative meeting on HA and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure the smooth and safe process of assistance delivery”.


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