Bandar Seri Begawan:
The Brunei diplomat appointed by a Southeast Asian regional bloc as special envoy to Myanmar said on Saturday that he is still negotiating with the military over terms of a visit and has sought access to deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has sought to end violence in Myanmar and initiate dialogue between the military rulers and their opponents after the overthrow of Suu Kyi in February.
ASEAN last month commissioned Erywan Yusof, Brunei’s second foreign minister, to lead these efforts.
“It is urgent to go to Myanmar now. But I think I need to make sure first,” Erywan told Reuters. “I need to have a clear idea of what to do, what they’re going to make me do when I visit.”
Erywan wants to visit before the end of October when ASEAN leaders will meet, but said no date has been set.
“They haven’t set a condition yet, but they haven’t been clear about it,” he said.
‘Must talk to everyone’
Requests for access to Suu Kyi have been submitted to the state council chaired by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, Erywan said. But access to the deposed leader was not required according to a five-point consensus ASEAN reached in April, he added.
The consensus included an end to the violence and the start of peace talks between all parties.
“That’s what I’ve said to the current authorities in Myanmar, I need to talk to all parties involved and that’s still under negotiation,” Erywan said.
A military spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Erywan said his talks with the junta and other parties on the ground “went quite well”.
He said he was looking for a team of advisers to support his role as envoy. The team could include Myanmar’s neighbors including India and Bangladesh, he said.
When it came to power, the military alleged irregularities in an election swept by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party in November 2020. The then Election Commission and international observers said the military’s allegations were false.
The military authorities say their takeover should not be called a coup because it was in accordance with the constitution.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)