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On September 7, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, ASEAN Chairman, handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship

On September 7, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, ASEAN Chairman, handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship to the new ASEAN Chairman, Prime Minister of Laos, Sonexay Siphandone on the last day of the ASEAN Summit held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said that ASEAN will not be held hostage by the Myanmar crisis and will not be delayed in handing over the rotating ASEAN chairmanship. "It is true that creating peace often takes time. But we must continue to fight for peace. ASEAN will not be held hostage by the Myanmar crisis and will not be delayed. We must continue to drive the ASEAN ship to create peace, stability, and development.”



Although the ASEAN countries expressed their disappointment at the lack of progress in common agreements regarding the Myanmar issue, it has also been announced that these common agreements will continue. Along with the ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Conference, attended by ASEAN's partner countries, continued in Jakarta. US Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and leaders from other ASEAN partner countries attended.


Bangladesh President Mohammed Shahabuddin, who attended the conference, said that due to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have taken refuge in Bangladesh and he urged international leaders to find a long-term solution to the Myanmar problem. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accepted the 1.2 million people who were forcibly driven out of Myanmar as a humanitarian act. Now, seven years into this crisis, there is no way to solve the problem. This problem is pushing Bangladesh into a tight spot. She said that it is the responsibility of the entire international community to find a long-term way to solve this problem that started in Myanmar.


The president of Bangladesh also said that the delay in the process of repatriating Rohingya refugees and the lack of humanitarian aid at the same time pose a danger to the entire region. "Continued delays in the realization of safe, secure, and sustainable voluntary repatriations and the lack of humanitarian assistance for them could pose a risk to the entire region. I would like to urge the international community to respond urgently to this extremely important issue.”


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also attended this year's East Asia Summit and on September 7, he met with ASEAN leaders. He said Myanmar's brutal violence has worsened, and hopes for a return to democracy have been dashed by poverty and systematic repression. It is reported in international news that they mainly discussed non-issues in this year's conference. Additionally to the Myanmar issue, discussions between ASEAN and its partner countries include the South China Sea territorial dispute, Ukraine’s war, and whether North Korea is providing weapons to Russia.


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