The Philippines is ready to step in and chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2026 if Myanmar gives up its turn, according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
(Bloomberg) — The Philippines is ready to step in and chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2026 if Myanmar gives up its turn, according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“It is my pleasure to announce that the Philippines is ready to take the helm and chair Asean in 2026,” Marcos was quoted as saying during an Asean meeting on Tuesday in Jakarta, based on a statement from his press office.
Indonesia has noticed “the emergence of trust” between stakeholders over Myanmar’s peace plan, “with the exception of the military junta,” President Joko Widodo who chairs Asean this year separately said on Tuesday.
His comments come as the Southeast Asia bloc comes under scrutiny for its slow handling of the crisis amid worsening violence in the country. The so-called Five Point Consensus is still the region’s peace strategy in Myanmar, Jokowi said.
Myanmar’s junta continues to use force to crack down on its citizens and political rivals critical of its authoritarian rule, extending the state of emergency in July which effectively delayed the election.
While the military government pardoned Aung San Suu Kyi last month for some offenses she was convicted of following a 2021 coup, she’s still in jail. Suu Kyi remains in good health, according Han Tha Myint, a senior member of the National League for Democracy.
Within Asean, Indonesia and Thailand differ over how to engage the junta. Myanmar will likely hold elections in 2025, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday, citing officials from military-backed political parties.
–With assistance from Philip J. Heijmans, Khine Lin Kyaw, Manolo Serapio Jr. and Chandra Asmara.
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