Indonesia’s leader calls for peaceful solutions to conflicts at ASEAN summit

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and leaders of Asian and Western nations are holding a three-day summit in the Indonesian capital. Jakarta It drew attention to major conflicts in Asia with calls for peaceful resolutions and restraint.

Myanmar’s bloody civil unrest and the South China Sea territorial disputes, which have dragged on without a resolution, are high on the agenda.

Concerns were also raised about US-China rivalry in the region, though none were specifically called out Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and US Vice President Kamala Harris were also present. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also participated in it.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who led the 10-nation ASEAN this year, told a news conference after the summit talks that „if we can’t manage differences, we can guarantee you.”

„If we join the tide of competition, we will be destroyed,” he added.

Widodo was characteristic in handing over the leadership of the regional group to Laos during the Jakarta meetings ASEAN A regional peacemaker – or safe house – is what the world desperately needs.

The ASEAN groupings established in 1967 during the Cold War were Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Although long derided as a toothless negotiating chamber, ASEAN has been praised for its ability to bring rival world powers together in closed-door meetings, offer opportunities for negotiation and extract public commitments to settle disputes peacefully.

At a meeting of ASEAN leaders with China, Japan and South Korea in Jakarta, Li underlined the need to resist „a new cold war”, although Beijing has long been condemned for its increasingly aggressive actions in the disputed South China Sea and Taiwan.

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„To keep differences under control, what is essential now is to choose sides, resist sectarian conflict and a new Cold War, and ensure that differences and disputes between countries are properly handled,” Li said.

ASEAN leaders renewed their call for a peaceful solution to long-standing territorial disputes in the South China Sea in a post-summit statement. Code of Conduct” to avoid degenerating into a major conflict in disputed waters.

Contested waters have become a subtle fault line in the US-China rivalry. Washington has no claim to the strategic waterway, a key global trade route, but has deployed its naval ships and warplanes to challenge China’s expansive claims and assert what it calls freedom of navigation and overflight in the maritime region.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who met separately with ASEAN leaders on Thursday, made an urgent call for the international community to seek a unified strategy to end the worsening crisis in Myanmar.

The world body said aid cuts should be scaled back to previous levels as the world body responds to a „great tragedy”, adding that Myanmar’s situation has worsened since meeting ASEAN leaders at the 2022 summit.

Guterres again called on the crisis-hit country’s military-installed government to immediately release all political prisoners and „open the door to a return to democratic rule”.

Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, 2021, arresting her and top members of her ruling National Democratic Party, which won a landslide victory for a new term in November 2020 general elections. Election.

Security forces cracked down on widespread opposition to the military takeover with deadly force, killing thousands of civilians and arresting thousands of nonviolent protesters. The brutal repression sparked armed resistance in much of the impoverished country.

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Guterres also renewed his warning that other problems are being exacerbated by rivalries between superpowers and rivals.

„Our world is stretched to breaking point by a cascade of crises: from a worsening climate emergency and increasing wars and conflicts, to growing poverty, widening inequality and rising geopolitical tensions,” Guterres said.

(AP)

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