Sokhonn on Myanmar: ASEAN to decide on next move in case of more executions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn holds a press conference on the summary and key outcomes of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings on August 6. MFAIC

Foreign minister Prak Sokhonn, in his capacity as the ASEAN special envoy on Myanmar, said he is set to embark on his third trip to the country in early September, while reiterating that he is not a "superhero" who can resolve the long-standing crisis overnight as expected by some.

Speaking at an early August 6 press conference on the summary and key outcomes of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings in Phnom Penh, Sokhonn said some people had expected an immediate result from his first two visits.

“I told the AMM yesterday [August 5], after my briefing about our effort to help Myanmar, that I am sorry, I am just a special envoy, not a superhero or a superman. I think even a superman cannot resolve the Myanmar issue [overnight],” he said.

Nevertheless, Sokhonn stressed that his efforts to help find a solution in Myanmar "remain strong and not any less", saying he will persevere as much as he can in his capacity as the ASEAN special envoy.

“As I said, I will not give up on Myanmar. But the execution of four opposition activists is a setback. All nine ASEAN member states have agreed to see how things will evolve in the coming weeks and months. I am planning for my third trip to Myanmar in early September."

According to Sokhonn, the contentious issue of Taiwan, Ukraine, South China Sea and North Korea were also hotly debated at the AMM, prompting his call for the meeting to be conducted in a calm and diplomatic manner.

He said Cambodia, as the chair of ASEAN, provided the floor to all parties to express their governments' views on the issues through the AMM.

On Myanmar, Sokhonn stressed that if more executions are carried out, ASEAN will reconsider their next move.