ASEAN Members' Foreign Ministers Meet in Jakarta amid Tensions in Myanmar
3 February 2023 15:31 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Southeast Asian foreign affairs ministers are gathering in a two-day dialogue at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ (AMM) Retreat held in Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta, which also marks the inaugural event under Indonesia’s chairmanship. Friday's AMM Retreat began with the 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council.
The meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in South Jakarta will discuss several topics, which include the priorities of Indonesia's chairmanship and follow-up on the results of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in 2022.
The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a written statement that senior regional officials had met on Thursday, 2 February 2023, without specifying the agenda.
Experts consider the Myanmar situation as one of the challenges under Indonesia’s chairmanship, as the country’s democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown by its military junta back in February of 2021.
Myanmar's junta has just extended the country's state of emergency for another six months. Earlier in a meeting held with the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing said multi-party elections should be held "according to the will of the people".
National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) senior researcher Dewi Fortuna Anwar in a discussion on Tuesday said that there would be high expectations, both domestically and internationally, regarding Indonesia’s strategy in dealing with the Myanmar crisis. What ASEAN does or doesn't do in dealing with Myanmar will be a test of the bloc's credibility.
"There are many ways to handle this case. Indonesia must tread carefully. What is done with Myanmar will determine ASEAN as an institution," Dewi said in speaking at the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) think-tank forum in Jakarta on Tuesday, January 31.
Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Retno Marsudi, emphasized on several occasions that the crisis in Myanmar would not hinder ASEAN's growth. Indonesia, she asserted, will continue to push for peace in Myanmar.
Retno and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have never openly disclosed what will be the specific strategy for pursuing peace in Myanmar. However, Indonesia will still stick with a five-point consensus approach in dealing with the Myanmar issue.
DANIEL A. FAJRI
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