Cambodia: Asean’s spoiler or saviour?

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will be the Tatmadaw’s first guest of honour in Nay Pyi Taw this weekend. Whatever the outcome of his two-day trip, it will have both intended and unintended consequences for the future of the Asean process, especially the five-point consensus (FPC). For nearly a year since the coup on Feb 1, Asean has assumed the role of peacemaker, going strictly by the book to ensure that the crisis in Myanmar would come to an end through the grouping’s agency and good practices.

After Brunei handed over the chair to Cambodia at the end of October, Hun Sen made it clear that he would like to see Myanmar’s top leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, return to the Asean fold and take part in upcoming Asean-related summits under his watch. Asean decided in mid-October to invite a senior non-political representative instead of its leader for their meetings after the junta had not fulfilled its pledges outlined in the FPC.

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