Myanmar’s junta has said it was unlikely an ASEAN special envoy tasked with facilitating dialogue in the coup-hit country would be allowed to meet ousted pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been under global pressure to help resolve the crisis in member state Myanmar, where more than 1,100 people have been killed in post-coup violence according to a monitoring group.
Brunei Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof, who was selected as the bloc’s envoy in August after lengthy wrangling, has called for full access to all parties when he visits.
But a junta spokesman told AFP on Thursday it would be “difficult to allow for meetings with those who are facing trial.”
“We will allow for meeting with official organizations,” added spokesman Zaw Min Tun, without giving further details on when Myanmar would give permission for the envoy to visit.
Suu Kyi, 76, is on trial for a raft of charges, flouting coronavirus restrictions during polls her party won in a landslide last year, illegally importing walkie talkies and sedition.
She faces decades in prison if convicted on all charges.
Her lawyers said last week that the Nobel laureate has not received any meeting request yet from local and foreign organisations.
“Without meeting [Suu Kyi] there will be no result,” political analyst Mg Mg Soe told AFP.
“They can move another step to proceed how they can negotiate only after listening from both sides.”
Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has promised to hold elections and lift a state of emergency by August 2023, extending a timeline given shortly after the coup.