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Asean should keep excluding Myanmar junta, Singapore PM said

Singapore’s leader has said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should continue excluding Myanmar’s junta from its meeting until it cooperates on an agreed peace plans.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a video call on Friday urged the regional group’s new chair, Cambodia, to engage all sides in Myanmar’s conflict, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Lee told his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen that ASEAN should continue inviting a non-political representative from Myanmar to its meetings and any decision to change that “had to be based on new facts”.

His remarks follow a controversial visit last week by Hun Sen to Myanmar, where he met Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military government whom ASEAN excluded from its leaders’ summit for his failure to implement the five-point plan to end hostilities and allow dialogue after a coup last year.

Malaysia’s foreign minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, made similar comments on Thursday, saying some ASEAN members felt Hun Sen should have discussed his trip with fellow leaders beforehand, as it could be seen as recognizing the junta.

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