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ASEAN arranging for foreign ministers meeting on Myanmar on Tues.

Medicals students display images of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a street march in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo)

HANOI/SINGAPORE (Kyodo) -- ASEAN members are arranging to hold a special foreign ministers meeting on Tuesday to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar in the wake of the coup there early this month, ASEAN diplomatic sources said Friday.

    It would be the first such meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations since the member country's military ousted the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.

    Most ASEAN countries have expressed readiness to attend the meeting, with Myanmar's military-appointed Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin also asked to attend, the sources said.

    The meeting is likely to be a hybrid form with some attending in person and others joining virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to one of the sources. An in-person meeting would be held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, where ASEAN has its secretariat.

    ASEAN members attending the meeting may see differing positions among themselves on the post-coup detention of Suu Kyi, as well as a new general election the military has promised to hold after a one-year state of emergency.

    In Myanmar, where demonstrations have been held daily in opposition to the coup, some protesters are critical of an ASEAN meeting involving the military-appointed foreign minister.

    Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has led efforts to lobby for the ASEAN meeting. She has visited other member countries in recent weeks, including Brunei, which currently holds the ASEAN chairmanship, and Singapore.

    In Thailand on Wednesday, the Indonesian foreign minister held three-way talks with her Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai and Wunna Maung Lwin.

    ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. One of its principles is noninterference in fellow members' politics.

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