ASEAN’s new chair Cambodia reaches out to Myanmar junta

Cambodian PM Hun Sen appears to be offering an olive branch to the shunned Myanmar junta as the Association of South East Asian Nation’s new chair.

Hun Sen said this week that as ASEAN’s new chair he is willing to visit post-coup Myanmar without preconditions, according to Cambodian state media.

The consensus-driven regional bloc recently shunned the Myanmar junta over its failure to adhere to an agreed 5-point consensus that junta leader Min Aung Hlaing had agreed to.

State-run Agence Kamupchea Presse (AKP) reported on Thursday that even before getting the go-head from the junta for a visit to Naypyidaw, Hun Sen, who is widely seen as leading a pro-China authoritarian government, is planning to invite the Myanmar military-appointed foreign minister to Cambodia this week.

“On December 6-7, Cambodia will invite foreign minister of Myanmar to visit the Kingdom … and I am also ready to travel to Myanmar without any preconditions as Prime Minister of Cambodia,” Hun Sen said at an event in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodian PM appeared to reason that ASEAN should not lose a member and become a nine-member block to “satisfy external partners”.

Hun Sen appears to believe that Myanmar has every right to be in ASEAN, and at all its meetings and sub-meetings. He believes Myanmar is merely a “broken pillar,” according to Benar News.