As India prepares to host a conference of the 10-nation grouping’s foreign ministers next month, diplomatic sources said that the ASEAN’s attitude on engaging Myanmar at multilateral forums has been that it should be at a non-political level. According to the sources, India is unlikely to invite Myanmar’s foreign minister to the conference but might instead invite an official.
According to reports, India has been in contact with the ASEAN on several issues regarding hosting the foreign ministers’ conference, including the Myanmar issue. Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup on February 1 last year and declared a state of emergency after arresting Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD).
Following the coup, the country was rocked by enormous protests. The coup has been roundly condemned by the international world. Myanmar is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
India has pushed for Myanmar to re-establish democracy. On the other hand, India has not imposed a boycott on Myanmar’s government or officials. Myanmar is one of India’s critical neighbors, sharing a 1,640-kilometer border with several northeastern states, notably Nagaland and Manipur, which are afflicted by insurgency.
The ASEAN grouping of ten nations is regarded as one of the most powerful in the area, with India and many other countries, including the United States, China, Japan, and Australia, as discussion partners. The relationship between India and ASEAN has improved in recent years, with an emphasis on expanding cooperation in sectors such as commerce and investment, as well as security and defense.