Myanmar remains a valued member of the ASEAN family–PM Ismail

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PUTRAJAYA OCT.26: Malaysia fully supports ASEAN Chair held by Brunei Darussalam on the issue of the representation from Myanmar at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits.

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, Malaysia’s position on this issue was not arrived at lightly but was made after careful consideration and out of the necessity to preserve the credibility and integrity of ASEAN.

Ismail said, as Member States are aware, Malaysia was a strong advocate and worked very hard to bring Myanmar into ASEAN. As such, Malaysia is deeply saddened by the recent developments.

“Myanmar remains a valued member of the ASEAN family. Malaysia looks forward to the return of democracy in Myanmar and participation of Myanmar at the highest level in future summits,” said Ismail in his deliberation held virtually at the 38th ASEAN Summits here today.

Meanwhile, at the 39th ASEAN Summits, Ismail said Malaysia hopes that the current situation in Myanmar will not have an adverse impact on the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas returning to Myanmar.

“Addressing the root causes of the Rohingya crisis remains important in pursuing a resolution to the crisis. The situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar does not seem to have improved and they remain subjected to various discrimination and violence,” Ismail said.

The Prime Minister then urges Myanmar to continue with efforts in delivering its commitment to begin and ensure effective repatriation and protect the human rights of the returnees.

Ismail added, as a country directly impacted by the Rakhine State crisis, Malaysia will continue to support the ongoing efforts towards a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of displaced Rohingya to their place of origin in Rakhine State. Finally, Malaysia can go along with the notation and adoption of relevant documents.

The Prime Minister also emphasized on matters relating to South China Sea that must be resolved peacefully and constructively in accordance to universally recognized principles of international law including the 1982 UNCLOS.

“All parties need to work together to ensure that South China Sea remains a sea of peace, stability and trade.

“As a coastal state, it is a matter of great significance that our maritime areas remain safe for international trade to prosper.

“Malaysia reiterates its view that while international law guarantees the freedom of navigation, the increased presence of warships and vessels in the South China Sea has the potential to increase tensions which may in turn, result in miscalculations that could have a detrimental effect on regional peace, stability and security,” Ismail said.

Ismail also expressed his regret that there was lack of unity on issues that could impact regional peace, stability and securely namely AUKUS and SEANWFZ (shaun-fez) Treaty.

He added, on the former it is regrettable that ASEAN was unable to come up with a statement on the establishment of the trilateral security arrangement.

On the latter he said, it is also regrettable that for the third consecutive time, ASEAN was able to only submit a procedural decision on the SEANWFZ Treaty to the current 76th session of the UN General Assembly.-Malaysia World News

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