Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia troika continues to seek end to Myanmar crisis

Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia troika continues to seek end to Myanmar crisis

JAKARTA,. Indonesia, Laos, and Malaysia are continuing with the troika mechanism agreed upon at the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta in September 2023 to help resolve the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

According to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the troika mechanism implemented by Indonesia as the previous ASEAN chair, Laos as the current chair, and Malaysia as the next chair is very important to ensure continuity in the handling of the Myanmar issue.

“At the summit in Jakarta, a new mechanism was agreed upon in ASEAN in the form of a troika to discuss how to implement the Five-Point Consensus on the Myanmar issue,” Marsudi said on Tuesday, reported ANTARA.

She made the statement after accompanying President Joko Widodo to a meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Mohamad bin Hasan in Jakarta.

Through the mechanism, she said, Indonesia has provided Laos with all notes regarding engagements that have been carried out with all stakeholders in Myanmar, with the hope that the approach can be continued by Laos as the chairman of ASEAN this year.

During Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN, more than 265 engagements were carried out with almost all stakeholders in Myanmar.

Marsudi emphasised that Indonesia is optimising diplomacy to encourage progress in implementing the Five-Point Consensus (5PC).

“We have given all contact persons to Laos, and they stated explicitly that what Laos will do is a continuation of the efforts previously built under the leadership of Indonesia and Cambodia. So, this must continue to be built and strengthened,” she expounded.

She further explained that the troika mechanism is not closed to the involvement of other ASEAN countries, as long as it still refers to the 5PC.

“When we discuss humanitarian assistance, for example, I talk a lot with Thailand because Thailand also provides humanitarian assistance across the border (to Myanmar) but still involves the AHA Centre, according to the 5PC reference,” Marsudi said.

Meanwhile, Minister Hasan emphasised the importance of ASEAN working together to ensure that the crisis in Myanmar does not spread to other countries or regions.

Friends of the ASEAN countries are thinking together, which is the best way for Myanmar to return to its former civil government; so this troika mechanism can hopefully be implemented as well as possible, he said.

Myanmar’s crisis began with a coup launched by the military against the country’s elected government on Feb 1, 2021.

The Myanmar military government then cracked down hard on the masses protesting the coup, with more than 4 thousand civilians killed and more than two million people displaced by the violence.

Since October 2023, the Myanmar military’s fight against ethnic groups opposing the military regime and pro-democracy forces has become increasingly fierce.

Meanwhile, on Jan 31, 2024, the Myanmar military extended the state of emergency for six months.

The move delays the elections promised by the military following the February 2021 coup. The military has extended the state of emergency several times since seizing power.

— BERNAMA

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