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ASEAN talks in Myanmar escalate as EU sees more sanctions | ASEAN News

Representatives from the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) are set to hold talks with General Min Aung Hlaing, as Myanmar enters a month of turmoil since the military seized power on February 1 and hopes for new sanctions from the European Union.

Myanmar has been in turmoil and its economy has deteriorated since the government’s coup, in which more than 800 people have been killed in violent protests against their opponents, according to the monitoring team.

Erywan Pehin Yusof, the second foreign minister and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, arrived at Naypyidaw headquarters late Thursday, a Myanmar official, who did not want to be named, told AFP news agency.

The delegation met with Min Aung Hlaing on Friday morning, the official added, and the military told reporters that they would soon be releasing more information at the meetings.

ASEAN, which has 10 members including Myanmar, has led a series of talks to resolve the crisis, but the group is working to improve the situation. Viewers were skeptical of how effective his experiments would be.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The National Unity Government (NUG), a majority of members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

“ASEAN talks are dead on arrival,” Myanmar researcher David Mathieson told AFP.

“Westerners have been taking part in the march, sending a clear response to Naypyidaw. Their competition is going well.”

On Thursday, the NUG announced a change in the country’s citizenship law that would pave the way for Muslim Rohingya to recognize citizenship, saying it would work “to establish a democratic alliance where all nations of the Union could live together peacefully”.

Hundreds of Rohingya fled the country in 2017 following the ongoing hostilities is being investigated as a possible murder. Aung San Suu Kyi and the previously elected government defended this, even going to La Haye to testify.

On Thursday, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer became the chief representative of the international body to visit Naypyidaw when he met Min Aung Hlaing.

“People in Myanmar need urgent help and security,” Maurer said in a statement to the ICRC.

He spoke of “use of force in times of security” and offered the opportunity to help people in conflict areas and the resumption of Red Cross prisons, he said.

Min Aung Hlaing, however, was “doing nothing” but did not deny Maurer’s request, reporters at Nikkei said, citing people who knew the meeting well.

EU sanctions

In the meantime, the European Union is preparing sanctions for the regime and its assets in the coming days.

“There is a third line of sanctions in preparation for what will be accepted (in the coming days),” European Union Foreign Secretary Josep Borrell told Reuters news agency on Thursday during a visit to Jakarta.

Borrell also told reporters that efforts were “to find a political solution in Myanmar and about ASEAN.”

International organizations have favored mediation between ASEAN but other Western powers have also imposed more sanctions to punish military leadership and their wealth.

No sanctions or negotiations, however, have affected the military, claiming that a 10-year coup d’état will bring about “punished democracy”.

The killings continue and instead of talking to NUG, the military has called the “terrorist” group.

The military took power after the Electoral Commission rejected their allegations of fraud in the November election, which the NLD won. Authorities arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and civilian officials before announcing his capture.

Identification of Rohingya

NUG has condemned the military’s efforts to call for an end to ethnic divisions in the country and called on the Rohingya to support the overthrow of the leaders, promising them citizenship and the restoration of Myanmar democracy.

“We call on the Rohingyas to join us and others in taking part in the Revolutionary War against Tyranny,” the group said in a statement.

This new idea is a complete change for those who allied with Aung San Suu Kyi as his NLD government has already avoided using the term “Rohingya”, instead referring only to a few as “Muslims living in Rakhine”.

NUG has also promised to repeal the 1982 Rohingya Citizenship Act, promising that all Myanmar or Myanmar citizens will be granted citizenship.

The group also said it was committed to repatriating hundreds of Rohingya people who had suffered in camps in Bangladesh “as soon as they were repatriated freely, safely and with dignity.”

More than 740,000 Rohingya have fled the border into Bangladesh after a bloody civil war in 2017 that the UN condemned as a genocide.

The military also said that its operation was necessary to torture Rohingya militants following a number of threats by the police and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

More than 600,000 Rohingya remain in the western part of the Rakhine state without citizens, living in camps or in their villages and many of whom do not have access to medical care.

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