ASEAN urges Myanmar junta to free prisoners, follow agreement

8 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Envoys from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) called on Myanmar’s junta to free all political prisoners and discussed implementing a regional “consensus” to end turmoil since the Feb. 1 coup, the regional bloc said, reports Reuters.

Myanmar’s junta has shown little sign of heeding April’s five-point agreement among the 10 ASEAN countries, including Myanmar, which calls for an end to violence, political talks and the naming of a regional special envoy. The ASEAN envoys met junta leader Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, on Friday.

The ASEAN statement dated June 5 said the objective of the visit was to discuss how Myanmar would reach “a peaceful solution in the interests of its people” by implementing the five points.

It said they had also “called for the release of all political prisoners, including women and children and foreigners” - an appeal that was not on the consensus but is supported by many ASEAN members.

Reuters was unable to reach a junta spokesman for comment. The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said the meeting covered “implementation of the recommendation of initial survey of ASEAN” and “terror acts” by junta opponents and the army’s plan to hold elections.