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ASEAN envoy to Myanmar in talks with junta over terms of visit, seeks access to Aung San Suu Kyi

ASEAN envoy to Myanmar in talks with junta over terms of visit, seeks access to Aung San Suu Kyi

Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Pehin Yusof in 2019. (File photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Brunei diplomat appointed by a Southeast Asian regional bloc as its special envoy to Myanmar said on Saturday (Sep 4) he is still negotiating with the military on the terms of a visit to the country and he has sought access to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been trying to end the violence that erupted in Myanmar after the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi and took power in February, and has sought to open a dialogue between the military rulers and their opponents.

ASEAN tasked Erywan Yusof, Brunei's second foreign affairs minister, last month with leading these efforts.

"There is an urgent need to go now to Myanmar. But I think before all that, I need to have assurances," Erywan told Reuters in an interview.

"I need to be able to have a clear picture of what I'm supposed to do, what they are going to allow me to do when I visit."

Requests seeking access to Aung San Suu Kyi have been made to the State Administrative Council, which is chaired by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, Erywan said.

A military spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

When it took power, the military alleged irregularities in an election swept by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party in November 2020. The then electoral commission and international monitors said the army accusations were wrong.

The military authorities say their seizure of power should not be called a coup because it was in line with the Constitution.

Source: Reuters/dv

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