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PM: ASEAN is Not a Hostage of Myanmar's Problems!

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SIHANOUKVILLE: Prime Minister Hun Sen, the current ASEAN Chair, briefly noted on the Myanmar-ASEAN situation in 2022, saying that ASEAN has a lot of work to do for a variety of regional issues, not just the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 in Sihanoukville on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, "ASEAN 2022 is not just about Myanmar, as some people have said a lot in the last three weeks or so. Let me say that we have a lot of work to do besides the crisis in Myanmar, and ASEAN is not a hostage to Myanmar's problems! This is a brief summary to guide the situation for observers on our thinking in the regional framework."

He stressed that ASEAN’s work in 2022 will have to cover and address many different issues, including how to revive tourism in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cambodia took over the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN on 1 January 2022, following in the footsteps of Brunei. After assuming the rotating presidency, Prime Minister Hun Sen travelled to Myanmar on 7 January to seek a ceasefire in the country, provide aid assistance, and open the door for ASEAN Special Envoys to find a solution for the country’s ongoing conflict. Myanmar's military leaders agreed on all these points and Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to let the ASEAN Foreign Ministers continue this work.

While meeting with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi on Monday morning, Prime MInister Hun Sen said that the work that ASEAN needs to do this year is to revive the ASEAN economy, prepare for the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the Asia-Pacific Initiative, Timor-Leste’s membership to ASEAN, and a Summit to Promote Economic Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the participation of international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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