Cambodia defends leader’s trip to Myanmar as ‘positive step’

Cambodia’s foreign minister on Saturday defended Prime Minister Hun Sen’s trip to Myanmar, the first by a foreign leader since the military takeover last year plunged the country into turmoil, though there was little evidence the mission yielded any immediate breakthrough.

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn told reporters that talks between Hun Sen and Myanmar’s leader achieved “a very good, positive result with a progressive step forward” on the implementation of peace efforts agreed to by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a regional bloc currently led by Cambodia.

Hun Sen’s meeting on Friday with Myanmar’s military chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi last February, triggered protests in Myanmar and criticism abroad. Opponents said it legitimized the military takeover and broke the generals’ near-total diplomatic isolation.

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