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ASEAN looks to assist Myanmar in reaching peaceful solution: officials

The ASEAN Secretariat has issued a statement on outcomes of a working visit to Myanmar of Chairman of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof and Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, on June 4-5.

The objective of the working visit was to discuss how ASEAN could assist Myanmar in reaching a peaceful solution in the interests of its people through the effective and timely implementation of the Five-Point Consensus reached by the ASEAN Leaders Meeting held on April 24, particularly the appointment and role of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar.

The visit also aimed at finding out how ASEAN could assist in facilitating constructive dialogue among all parties in Myanmar and provide ASEAN’s humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.

During the visit, the ASEAN officials met with Chairman of the State Administrative Council Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Thet Thet Khine and Chairman of the Union Election Commission Thein Soe.

The Chairman of the AMM and the Secretary-General of ASEAN also had meetings with ASEAN Heads of Mission in Myanmar while the Secretary-General of ASEAN held informal discussions with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in the country and the United Nations Office for the Coordinating of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) Myanmar.

During the discussions, the AMM Chairman stressed the importance of the effective and timely implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. Welcoming the extension of the ceasefire by the armed force, he highlighted that ASEAN can facilitate constructive dialogues among all parties in Myanmar.

The AMM Chairman and the ASEAN Secretary-General welcomed the renewed commitment of Myanmar in maintaining open and effective communication channels, with a view to implement the recommendations of the Preliminary Needs Assessment, and the resumption of ASEAN collective humanitarian efforts in the Rakhine State.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN also raised the possibility of providing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), in cooperation with international and non-governmental organisations.

Other issues under discussion include the appointment and the role of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar. In this regard, the AMM Chairman submitted to Myanmar the nominations proposed by ASEAN member states for the position.

He also called for the release of all political prisoners, including women, children and foreigners.