Myanmar rejects ASEAN decision to exclude junta leader from summit

Myanmar Coup

Myanmar’s military government said on Friday it rejected a decision by its neighbours to invite only a non-political representative to an upcoming regional summit, in what was an unprecedented snub to the leader of a Feb. 1 coup.

The junta’s foreign ministry said in a press release that heads of state or government of Myanmar enjoyed equal and full rights to participate in summits of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The next summit is due to take place on Oct. 26-28.

The decision taken by ASEAN foreign ministers at an emergency meeting last Friday was an unusually bold step for the consensus-driven bloc, which traditionally favours a policy of engagement and non-interference.

The junta said after the meeting that the decision went against ASEAN’s longtime central principle of consensus.

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