Monday, 4 July, 2022

Myanmar junta threatens to downgrade Australia ties

YANGON: Myanmar's junta on Thursday threatened to downgrade diplomatic ties with Australia after it said Canberra would not replace its recently-departed ambassador to the military-run country, reports AFP.

Western governments have led international criticism of last year's coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's administration and unleashed a violent crackdown on dissent, with some imposing sanctions and meeting with opposition figures. 

On Monday, Australian media reported that Canberra will not replace ambassador Andrea Faulkner, who finished her term in April, and will send instead a senior official to act as charge d'affaires.

Canberra had communicated the decision to the junta, permanent secretary of the regime's foreign affairs ministry Chan Aye told a press conference on Thursday.

"In response we are also working on having a charge d'affaires" run the Myanmar embassy in Australia, he said, without elaborating on whether Myanmar would recall its ambassador or downgrade their status.