Melbourne – The U.S Counselor of the Department of State, Derek Chollet is on a week-long visit to Cambodia and Indonesia to engage with stakeholders on key regional issues, including the crisis in Myanmar.
This is the second time Mr Chollet’s visit to the Southeast Asia nation in three months, with the October visit travelling to Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia and discussed on Myanmar.
Mr Chollet is said to have urged Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn during an official meeting on 10 December – not to give concession to Myanmar’s military junta when Cambodia chairs the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations) regional bloc.
However, Mr Chollet stopped short of calling on Cambodia to continue to exclude Myanmar junta officials, but he urged the country to promote and upload the ASEAN five-consensus plan on Myanmar, Reuters reported.
Mr. Chollet’s remarks came two days after the Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin in Phnom Penh, in which Mr Hun Sen said Myanmar should be invited to return to ASEAN meetings, following an exclusion from this year’s summit by the current chair Brunei, citing Myanmar’s military junta failed to stick to the five-consensus plan.
During a meeting with Mr Wunna Maung Lwin, Mr Hun Sen said, “Cambodia understands Myanmar’s current situation better than any other ASEA members state as Cambodia was excluded from the regional bloc when its membership was delayed after domestic trouble in 1997. Then ASEAN became nine members without Cambodia,” according to Khmer Times.
Myanmar’s military-appointed Mr Wunna Maung Lwin has presented the invitation of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to the Prime Minister of Cambodia Hu Sen who has accepted the invitation to visit Myanmar on 7 – 8 January.
Mr Hu Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia will be the first head of state who visit Myanmar following the military coup on 01 Feb.
U.S Department of State said Mr. Chollet will wrap up his visit to Cambodia and Indonesia on 13 December.