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ASEAN leaders' talks focus on peace in Myanmar and South China Sea

Southeast Asian foreign ministers sought to defuse conflicts from Myanmar's military takeover and China's expanding footprint, along with North Korea's aggressive missile testing.

Foreign ministers and ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn
Foreign ministers, L to R, from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, and ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn (AN/ASEAN)

Myanmar's military coup and conflicts over the South China Sea dominated a two-day meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers, who have sought to end Myanmar's crisis through a five-step consensus and to defuse tensions with China through a proposed agreement.

Hosted by Indonesia in Jakarta, the meeting of ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, ended with a 53-point press statement on Saturday that also expressed "grave concerns" over nuclear-armed North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile testing and ballistic missile launches.

"Inclusive national dialogue is key to finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in Myanmar," the ministers said of their consensus two years ago with Myanmar’s military leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, for ending the country's descent into violence and instability since the military seized power on Feb. 1, 2021.

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