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Thailand’s foreign ministry said it would host talks with Myanmar’s military government and neighboring countries on Monday in a bid to emerge from the post-coup crisis.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since a February 2021 uprising that overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with large swaths of the country devastated by fighting between the junta and its opposition.

Diplomatic efforts to stop the bloodshed have so far proved futile.

Thailand’s foreign ministry will host an “informal meeting” of neighboring countries on Monday as part of efforts to “peacefully resolve the situation in Myanmar,” the statement said.

“High-level” representatives from Laos, India, China, Brunei and Vietnam will attend, he added, without elaborating.

Officials in Myanmar and Cambodia confirmed that their foreign ministers will attend the meeting.

AFP has reached out to China’s foreign ministry for comment.

The talks came at a time when peace efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were faltering and ASEAN was held back by its charter principles of consensus and non-interference in the internal affairs of its members.

A coalition of ten nations has barred Myanmar’s military junta from top-level summits, accusing it of failing to implement a peace deal agreed more than two years ago.

The final ASEAN summit in May ended without much progress on the peace plan, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo warned that the bloc could become irrelevant.

“The time has come for ASEAN to fully re-engage with Myanmar at the summit level,” said a Thai Foreign Ministry letter proposing the meeting, seen by AFP.

The foreign ministers of Indonesia and Malaysia, the most vocal critics of the military regime in ASEAN, will not attend Monday’s meeting, officials said.

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Friday that conditions were not yet ripe for ASEAN to initiate high-level talks with Myanmar on the country’s political situation.

Myanmar’s “government of national unity”, which is dominated by lawmakers in Suu Kyi’s government to overthrow the coup, condemned Thailand’s invitation to join the military government.

“Inviting the illegal military regime into this discussion will not help solve Myanmar’s political crisis,” he said.

According to local watchdog groups, more than 3,600 civilians have died in crackdowns by the Myanmar military since the uprising, and the United Nations says more than one million people have fled due to violence. Thailand to host Myanmar junta for talks on post-coup crisis

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