Myanmar’s military-appointed foreign minister has travelled to Thailand, as neighbouring countries intensified efforts to resolve a crisis that began when its army seized power in a February 1 coup.
Wunna Maung Lwin, arrived for talks on diplomatic efforts by the Association of South East Asian Nations, as opponents of the coup took to the streets again in Myanmar.
Indonesia has taken the lead in efforts to steer a path out of the crisis, but its plans appeared to falter with the scrapping of a proposed trip to Myanmar by its foreign minister.
Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi, who is in Thailand, had been expected to fly to Myanmar but that trip was off, her ministry said.
“After taking into account current developments and the input of other ASEAN countries, this is not the ideal time to conduct a visit to Myanmar,” Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, told a briefing in Jakarta.
This week saw huge rallies and a general strike on Monday to denounce the coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite a warning from authorities that confrontation could get people killed.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Indonesia’s embassy in Yangon to voice opposition to a new election, demanding that the votes they cast in November be recognised.
Indonesia’s efforts to resolve the crisis comes as international concern is growing.
The Group of Seven (G7) rich nations on Tuesday condemned intimidation and oppression of those opposing the coup. “Anyone responding to peaceful protests with violence must be held to account,” group foreign ministers said in a statement.
Western nations sought to increase pressure on the junta this week with the European Union warning it was considering sanctions that would target businesses owned by the army.
China, which has traditionally taken a softer line, said international action should contribute to stability, promote reconciliation and avoid complicating the situation, media reported.