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Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Agenda on His Visit to Myanmar

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen has paid a two-day official visit to the Union of Myanmar on January 7 to 8, at the invitation of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. It was the first official visit to the country by a foreign leader since the military takeover last year which plunged Myanmar into turmoil.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s agenda for his visit to Myanmar was to seek and revive peace efforts after last year's military takeover provoked an angry backlash among critics, who say he is legitimizing the army’s seizure of power. But he has made actions to prove those critics wrong, as his visit was fruitful and has achieved more than what was expected.

In his role as the current ASEAN 2022 Chair, Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, and plunged Myanmar into violent conflict and economic disaster.

In their meeting, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing told Prime Minister Hun Sen that Myanmar had extended a ceasefire with all ethnic armed organizations in the country that was originally set to expire at the end of February 2022, through the end of the year.

The Senior General has also promised to create conditions to hold a free and fair multiparty general election, make preparations and has pledged to hold the multiparty general election without fail. He has said the state of emergency would achieve its objectives by August 2023.

General Min Aung Hlaing also added in a statement that he “welcomed the participation of the special envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar, Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, to join the ceasefire talks with and among the ethnic armed organizations. This important step is embodied in the ASEAN five-point consensus.”

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn has disclosed that the talks between Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar’s military leader have definitely achieved “a very good, positive result, with a progressive step forward” on the implementation of peace efforts agreed to by ASEAN. This is progress in the implementation of the five-point consensus on the Myanmar crisis, which was reached by ASEAN leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia in April 2021. ASEAN leaders, including General Min Aung Hlaing, have agreed on a five-point roadmap toward a peaceful settlement of the Myanmar crisis, including an end to violence and a political dialogue between all stakeholders.

Myanmar’s leader on Friday also “pledged support to the ASEAN special envoy in fulfilling his mandate to implement the five-point consensus in accordance with the ASEAN charter.”

With regards to humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to transfer about 1 Million dollars to the Covid-19 Response Fund in ASEAN in order to help the Myanmar fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon announced in a press conference on Saturday that seeing Myanmar's need to buy vaccines for its people, Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to transfer these funds for ASEAN to buy and send vaccine supplies to Myanmar.

He was quoted saying, "Within the ASEAN framework, we have the Covid-19 Response Fund in ASEAN, in which all ASEAN countries have agreed to adopt a budget of more than $10.5 million, to buy vaccines distributed to ASEAN member countries equally.” It was in this regard that Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to provide $1 million dollars to the fund.

Prime Minister Hun further stated, while speaking at the inauguration of the new section of National Road No. 5 in Battambang on Monday morning, that he wants to create a mechanism to help in logistic support to properly distribute and extend the humanitarian assistance capacity the Royal Government of Cambodia has, to Myanmar.

He also encouraged the Japan Ambassador to Cambodia, Mikami Masahiro, during his speech, to take part in the humanitarian effort to aid Myanmar.

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