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Joe Biden denounces coup and violence in Myanmar

The strongly worded White House statement came after U.S. President Joe Biden made public opening remarks to the ASEAN meeting in which he made a veiled reference to countering China, but did not mention Myanmar.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday denounced the military coup and “horrific violence” in Myanmar at a summit with ASEAN leaders, the White House said.

Addressing the virtual summit, Mr. Biden “expressed grave concerns about the military coup and horrific violence in Burma and called on the country’s military regime to immediately end the violence, release those unjustly detained, and restore Burma’s path to democracy”, a statement said.

Myanmar’s military government boycotted the ASEAN summit, which was hosted by Brunei, after its chief, Min Aung Hlaing, was banned in response to the February power grab and subsequent deadly crackdown on dissent.

The strongly worded White House statement came after Mr. Biden made public opening remarks to the ASEAN meeting in which he made a veiled reference to countering China, but did not mention Myanmar. Speaking by video link from the White House, Mr. Biden called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations “essential” and said the U.S. is “committed to ASEAN’s centrality”.

The U.S. is not a member of the 10-nation body but sees ASEAN as an important component in its strategy to push back against an increasingly assertive Chinese diplomatic, commercial and military presence across Asia.

Suu Kyi testifies

In a related development, ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi testified for the first time in a junta court, four months after being put on trial by the military, a source with knowledge of the case said.

On Tuesday, she “gave her statement at the court by herself” in response to charges of incitement related to two February statements criticising the coup, the source said.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 10:01:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/joe-biden-denounces-coup-and-violence-in-myanmar/article37180590.ece

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