Asia Myanmar skips ASEAN summit after its military ruler shut out

Myanmar skips ASEAN summit after its military ruler shut out

Southeast Asian leaders on Tuesday began their annual summit without Myanmar, amid a diplomatic standoff over the military-ruled nation’s exclusion from the group’s meetings.

Myanmar skipped the summit in protest after the regional bloc — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN — shut out its top general from its meetings.

The group’s refusal to allow Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to represent Myanmar at the summit was its harshest rebuke yet of the country’s military rulers since the generals ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February.

Brunei, who is this year’s chair of the 10-member bloc, invited Myanmar’s highest-ranking veteran diplomat, Chan Aye, as a “non-political” representative but she didn’t attend the meeting, two diplomats said. The diplomats requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the media.