Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —The United States is at a turning point in deciding how to deal with Myanmar’s junta crisis and is considering further political and economic measures to pressure the government to change behavior A senior US official said Thursday.
“In Burma, the situation is getting worse, both humanitarianly, from a security perspective, and from a lack of economic and political progress,” said Counselor of the U.S. Department of State, Derek Colette. Told to. interview.
The United States was one of the loudest opponents of the military takeover that expelled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February. Suu Kyi was arrested and detained along with top members of the National League for Democracy, including President Win Myint.
A detailed explanation by the Political Prisoners Support Association has accused security forces of killing about 1,200 civilians and arresting more than 9,043 since February 1.
Colette, an adviser to the Secretary of State, conducted an online interview while in Indonesia after the U.S. delegation visited Thailand and Singapore prior to the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei, where the situation in Myanmar continues. .. May dominate.
“We think there are tools that can help stop the worst from happening in the short term, but as I said, I think we are at a turning point in the process.” Said Chollet. There are political and economic means that the United States and other governments can pull to “pressure the administration to give incentives to change their behaviour.”
“Part of what we’re trying to do as the United States is not to determine the terms, but to provide our best perspective and hear from different partners in the region,” he said. Told. Meetings with three key members of ASEAN gave the US delegation “a sense of their thoughts on the best way to move forward.”
The United States, along with the United Kingdom and the European Union, has already imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s high-ranking military personnel and state-owned enterprises (including those dealing with profitable timber and jewelry), which are considered sources of military income. ..
However, activists say the sanctions do not include US and French oil and gas companies operating in Myanmar, allowing the military to maintain its single largest source of foreign currency income. I immediately pointed out. It allows them to make purchases like refined oil, weapons, packaged medicines and other imports.
Manny Maung, a Myanmar researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “These business relationships basically go directly to the criminal military junta. Not taking reasonable steps … is really reckless and allows companies to collude.”
Colette admitted that sanctions on the oil business are “undoubtedly” a tool available to the United States, but Washington needs to “keep the interests in mind” of its allies and partners in the region. I warned.
“That’s why we’re here to think about what’s going to happen, what really works to change the outlook for military junta,” he said. “But how can we do that in a way that doesn’t exacerbate the problem?” He said the Biden administration had not made a final decision.
ASEAN announced on Friday that it would not invite Myanmar’s military leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to the summit. The Brunei diplomat envoy subsequently canceled his trip to Myanmar.
This decision was praised by Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar. He said military affairs are seeking money, weapons and legitimacy from the international community.
“The ASEAN announcement that military junta will not be welcomed at the upcoming summit denies military junta … legitimacy,” he said on Monday. “Continuous pressure on all three aspects … is the best way for the international community to help the people of Myanmar protect human rights and save the country.”
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