It’s ‘right’ to omit junta, says Gen Banh

Kin Phea, director-general at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that lacking implementation of the 5PC is the main reason for barring the junta’s representatives at major ASEAN events.

“If the Myanmar junta makes no progress in the implementation of the 5PC, then Myanmar seats at ASEAN meetings will remain vacant,” he said.

“I think Cambodia’s decision (to exclude the Junta Defence Minister) was a right one. The decision was made under ASEAN’s principle of Consensus, not Cambodia alone,” he added.

Phea said the rotating Chair of ASEAN, Cambodia also consulted with other bloc member states before making such a decision. He said the previous ASEAN Chair Brunei also excluded junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing from the annual summit which was last held online last year.

“I think if we let junta senior government officials to participate in ASEAN meetings, it would cause more trouble with other foreign participants,” he said. “As ASEAN Chair, Cambodia needs to weigh ASEAN’s major interests.”

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