ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar Erywan Yusof – Screenshot Straits Times
“It is true that the trip to Myanmar is urgent, but I need reassurance (from the Myanmar military) first. I need a clear picture of what I have to do, what they allow me to do when I get there. “, Erywan Yusof told Reuters news agency on September 4.
By agreement between ASEAN leaders, a special envoy of the bloc will travel to Myanmar to assist in the reconciliation process between the parties and humanitarian aid. Last month, Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof was selected for this special assignment.
Mr. Erywan wants to visit Myanmar before the end of this October, when the meeting of ASEAN leaders will take place. However, according to Mr. Erywan, a specific date and time for the trip has not been determined and is in the process of being negotiated.
One of the issues raised was the access to Aung San Suu Kyi, state adviser to the civilian government ousted on February 1.
According to Mr. Erywan, the request to access the deposed leader has been forwarded to the interim Myanmar government headed by General Min Aung Hlaing. This request may be difficult to meet, as it is not among the five points that Myanmar’s military leadership agreed with ASEAN in April.
However, special envoy Erywan argued that of the five points of consensus, one mentioned an end to the violence and the start of peace talks with “all parties”.
“That’s what I’ve been saying to the current administration in Myanmar. I need to talk to all the parties involved and that’s still being negotiated,” Mr. Erywan told Reuters. Apart from this issue, other issues are being negotiated and progressed well.
In an interview with Reuters, Mr. Erywan revealed that he was looking to set up an advisory group to support the role of special envoy. This group may include researchers from India and Bangladesh – neighboring countries of Myanmar.
Accusing Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy of cheating in the November 2020 general election, the army led by General Min Aung Hlaing arrested the civilian leaders on February 1. -2021.
Last month, the military junta announced an annulment of the 2020 election results and moved closer to dissolving Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party.
The deposed female leader is still in military custody and faces multiple charges of corruption and violating anti-COVID-19 regulations.
Five points of consensus between Myanmar and ASEAN leaders include:
(i) concerned parties restrain and stop violence;
(ii) the parties conduct dialogues and seek peaceful solutions for the benefit of the people;
(iii) appoint an ASEAN special envoy to assist in the reconciliation process between the parties;
(iv) ASEAN will provide humanitarian aid to Myanmar;
(v) The ASEAN special envoy and delegation will visit Myanmar to meet relevant parties.