Myanmar military ruler vows elections and ASEAN cooperation in speech six months after coup By Reuters

Myanmar military ruler vows elections and ASEAN cooperation in speech six months after coup By Reuters0 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Myanmar’s Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Major General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his speech at the IX Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, Russia, on June 23, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko / Pool via REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military ruler Min Aung Hlaing again promised new multi-party elections on Sunday, saying his government is ready to work with any special envoys appointed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He spoke in a televised speech six months after the army seized power from a civilian government following disputed elections won by the ruling party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he described as “terrorists.”

“Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework, including dialogue with the ASEAN Special Envoy in Myanmar,” said Min Aung Hlaing.

ASEAN’s foreign ministers will meet on Monday, when diplomats say their goal is to finalize a special envoy tasked with ending the violence and promoting dialogue between the junta and its opponents.

The army seized power on February 1 from the civilian government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi after his ruling party won elections that the military said were tainted with fraud. The country’s electoral commission dismissed this accusation.

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