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Cambodian Prime Minister visits Myanmar


Cambodian Prime Minister visits Myanmar

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to begin his two day Myanmar visit
Cambodia’s Prime Minister visits Myanmar today – Photo: Reuters

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will begin his two-day visit to Myanmar today, accompanied by other senior officials.

Occurring on the same day Cambodia marks 43 years since the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown, Prime Minister Sen will meet Myanmar’s military junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to discuss bilateral relations and Myanmar’s political crisis.

Cambodia and Thailand see Myanmar’s situation as a solely domestic issue, which hinders efforts to put pressure on the junta past measures like ASEAN’s ban on Min Aung Hlaing from its most recent summit. Sen has personally voiced support for the military junta’s presence at ASEAN meetings—which could serve to further legitimize it in the medium-term.

The internal division between ASEAN members on the fate of Myanmar has persisted since the ASEAN Five Point Consensus was drawn up in April last year.

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In the short-term, Hun Sen may use Cambodia’s rotating chairmanship of ASEAN as leverage over the association’s pro-democracy National Unity Government supporters—strengthening ties with the junta and possibly overshadowing efforts to end the violence. In the medium-term, if Sen continues to act unilaterally, ASEAN will lose their leverage over General Min Aung Hlaing, further prolonging the crisis.

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