Cambodia Postpones ASEAN Meeting Amid Myanmar Disagreements

The Myanmar crisis has opened an increasingly wide fissure within the Southeast Asian bloc.

Cambodia, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has postponed a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers, after some ministers had expressed “difficulties” in attending.

The meeting, which was scheduled to be held in Siem Reap on January 18-19, will be indefinitely delayed, foreign ministry spokesperson Koy Kuong told reporters, according to Reuters. “The postponement is because many ASEAN ministers are having difficulties to travel to join,” he said, but did not respond to questions about which nations’ ministers were unable to attend.

The postponement, which has started Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship off on the worst possible foot, is almost certainly related to the bloc’s divisions over how to deal with the situation in Myanmar, which remains steeped in crisis following the military’s seizure of power last year. In particular, it likely signals some member states’ displeasure with Cambodia’s decision to invite Wunna Maung Lwin, the junta’s foreign minister, to the upcoming foreign ministers’ retreat.

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