May 9, 2011

ASEAN leaders support “steady progress and political developments in Myanmar", open to giving chairmanship in 2014

Southeast Asian leaders have no objection to Myanmar’s request to chair the 10-member ASEAN bloc in 2014, as long as it continues making progress towards democracy, Indonesia’s president said on Sunday after the group’s latest summit. “ASEAN leaders do not object in principle,” Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at his closing news conference.

A communique issued at the end of the two-day ASEAN leaders’ summit in Jakarta said: “We considered the proposal of Myanmar that it would host the ASEAN summits in 2014, in view of its firm commitment to the principles of ASEAN.”

It added that ASEAN leaders supported the “steady progress and political developments in Myanmar” after it held general elections and formed a new government in March, calling the ballot “successful”.

A previous draft communique said ASEAN had already “consented to the proposal” to chair the bloc in 2014. The final draft, and Yudhoyono’s comments, suggest a final decision will be made at a later date.

Myanmar held elections earlier this year to switch from military to civilian rule, leading the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to push the United States and Europe to drop sanctions against it.

Source: Reuters