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Cambodian PM says Myanmar junta has right to attend ASEAN - Metro US

Cambodian PM says Myanmar junta has right to attend ASEAN

FILE PHOTO: Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony of the Project for Flood Protection, donated by Japan, in Phnom Penh

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) -Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday he plans to visit Myanmar for talks with its military rulers and said junta officials should be invited to meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Myanmar’s standing as a member of the 10-country ASEAN has been thrown into the spotlight by a Feb. 1 coup, with military junta leader Min Aung Hlaing not invited https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/tradition-vs-credibility-inside-se-asian-meet-that-snubbed-myanmar-2021-10-19 to the annual summit https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/asean-chair-brunei-confirms-junta-leader-not-invited-summit-2021-10-16 of group leaders in October hosted by Brunei after members failed to reach a consensus.

But Hun Sen suggested on Monday that while Cambodia is the host of the regional bloc for the next year, all 10 members would be represented.

“It’s a family member of ASEAN, they must have the rights to attend meetings,” he said in comments during an inauguration ceremony for a Chinese-funded construction project.

Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister is to visit Cambodia on Tuesday, and Hun Sen said in his remarks he would likely visit Myanmar soon.

“There is a strong possibility I will visit Naypyidaw to meet General Min Aung Hlaing to work with him. If I don’t work with the leadership, whom can I work with?” Hun Sen said

Hun Sen referred to ASEAN’s long-held convention of not interfering in each other’s internal affairs, adding: “Under the ASEAN charter, no one has the rights to expel another member.”

Myanmar has been in crisis since Min Aung Hlaing overthrew a civilian government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 1.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Writing by Kay Johnson, editing by Richard Pullin)

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