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PM touches down in Myanmar for crisis talks

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Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) and Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin on January 7. SPM

PM touches down in Myanmar for crisis talks

Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and his delegation arrived in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on the morning of January 7 for talks with General Min Aung Hlaing, military chief and chairman of the ruling State Administration Council (SAC), over the crisis in Myanmar.

ASEAN has been dealing with internal disputes and controversy after Myanmar’s military declared a state of emergency on February 1 due to perceived irregularities in the 2020 general elections, and transferred legislative, judicial and executive powers from the civilian administration led by Aung San Suu Kyi to Defence Services commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Hun Sen is the first foreign leader to touch down in Myanmar since the state of emergency was issued.

Prompted by Myanmar’s exclusion from the bloc’s summit last year, the premier has repeatedly signalled his intent to bring the country back into the ASEAN fold, arguing that the economic union was “incomplete”.

Accompanying Hun Sen are donations of medical equipment to fight Covid-19, comprising three million face masks, 200,000 N95 masks, 100,000 goggles, 30,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits, 30,000 face shields, 3,000 plastic boots, 50 ventilators appropriate for an ICU setting, 50 patient monitors and 50 oxygen concentrators.

Upon arrival in the Myanmar capital, Hun Sen was welcomed by SAC-appointed foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin, according to a post on the prime minister’s Facebook page.

Details of January 7’s meeting were not immediately available.

Hun Sen is scheduled to return to Cambodia on January 8.

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