Oct 14 (Reuters) – Southeast Asian foreign ministers will
junta chief Min Aung Hlaing
a coming regional
at a meeting on Friday, according to
with knowledge of the matter.
Several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (
) have strongly criticised the military government’s inaction on a five-point plan that it agreed to with the bloc in April, centring on dialogue among all parties, humanitarian access and an end of hostilities.
Friday’s previously unscheduled, virtual meeting will be hosted by current
chair, Brunei, said the
member countries, who included a diplomat and another government official.
‘s military spokesman Zaw Min Tun did not respond to calls seeking comment on the meeting. Brunei’s foreign ministry did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
Erywan Yusof, the bloc’s special envoy to
, last week confirmed some members had been “deep in
ions” about not inviting the coup
to the Oct. 26-28 virtual
He said the junta’s lack of commitment to the process was “tantamount to backtracking”. Erywan’s office declined to comment on Friday’s meeting.
, with a long history of military dictatorship and international allegations of systematic human rights abuses, has been
‘s trickiest issue since the group was formed in 1967, testing the limits of its unity and its policy of non-interference.
The United Nations, United States and China, among others, have backed
‘s efforts to find a diplomatic solution, but pressure on the group has mounted in recent months, with some critics calling for tougher measures to respond to
More than 1,100 people have been killed since the coup, according to the United Nations, many during a crackdown by security forces on strikes and protests allied with Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted government.
Erywan said this week he was in consultations with parties in
, does not take sides or political positions and looks forward to a visit.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tin, in written remarks dated Wednesday, said the envoy would not be allowed to meet Suu Kyi because she is charged with crimes. –