SINGAPORE – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has cancelled her plan to visit Myanmar in what would have been the first known foreign envoy’s trip there after the military seized power in a Feb. 1 coup.
Speaking at a Wednesday (Feb 24) virtual press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said the trip was cancelled because it was “not an ideal time.”
He noted that Ms Retno had “let open an option to visit Naypyitaw to work on a solution at the regional level”.
However, “after taking into account the current development and following consultation with a number of other Asean countries, this is not the ideal time to conduct a visit to Myanmar”, he added.
Dr. Faizasyah did not explain the reasons for the trip, nor did he explain whether it would be postponed or scrapped, but he said that Indonesia would continue to consult with other ASEAN countries on Myanmar’s development.
“Indonesia continues to commit to contribute, Indonesia is also committed to pursuing communication with all parties in Myanmar,” he said.
In a coup on Feb 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leaders to seize power, sparking mass protests in the country.
On Monday (Feb 24), a Reuters report, citing sources, said Indonesia was pressing South-East Asian neighbors to agree on a Myanmar coup action plan that would keep the junta up to its pledge to hold elections, with monitors to ensure that they are fair and inclusive.
Even as crowds protested in front of the Indonesian embassies in Yangon and Bangkok to demand help for the November 2020 election results, Indonesia refuted the claims on Tuesday (Feb 23).
Last week, Ms. Retno gathered support in South-East Asia for a special session on Myanmar, traveling to Brunei, the new Asean chair, and Singapore to exchange views on Myanmar’s ongoing developments.
After a meeting last Thursday (Feb 18) with her Singapore counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, the two ministers expressed “serious concern” about the situation in Myanmar and backed a call for an informal ASEAN ministerial meeting on Myanmar.
They also expressed hope that, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, all parties concerned will sustain dialogue and work towards a peaceful settlement and national reconciliation in Myanmar, including a return to its path of democratic transition.