• Monday, Oct 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:46 pm

Southeast Asian nations oppose arms embargo on Myanmar

  • Published at 10:23 am May 28th, 2021
Myanmar politics army soldier protest
File photo: A soldier uses a mobile phone as he sit inside a military vehicle outside Myanmar's Central Bank during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021 Reuters

Asean is leading the diplomatic effort to end bloodshed in Myanmar

Nine Southeast Asian countries have urged the United Nations not to endorse a freeze on arms sales to Myanmar, according to a report from Benar News.

The report by the affiliate of the US-funded Radio Free Asia, quoted a Liechtenstein diplomat as saying the nine states wrote a letter to nations sponsoring a draft UN General Assembly resolution on Myanmar, where a February 1 coup has sparked mass protests and a bloody crackdown by the military-led junta.

The news outlet said the letter asked countries sponsoring the draft resolution to remove a sentence calling for "an immediate suspension of the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer of all weapons and munitions" to Myanmar.

Also read- UN seeks its special envoy’s access to Myanmar to assess situation

The letter was sent on behalf of nine of the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) grouping but did not include bloc member Myanmar, Benar News reported.

Benar News quoted Georg Sparber, deputy permanent representative at Liechtenstein's mission to the UN, as saying there was "no reason given in the letter" for the request. 

Benar News did not obtain a copy of the letter.

Liechtenstein's UN mission did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

A spokesman for Indonesia's foreign ministry said he was unaware of the letter and referred Reuters to Asean. A spokesman for Asean did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Asean is leading the diplomatic effort to end bloodshed in Myanmar and promote dialogue between the junta and its opponents.

A planned vote on the non-binding resolution by the UN General Assembly was suspended last week, with some diplomats saying the delay was to rally more support.

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