India welcomes ASEAN's initiative to end crisis in Myanmar

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) India on Sunday welcomed an initiative by the ASEAN to end the ongoing crisis in Myanmar which has been in turmoil since its military grabbed power in a coup in February.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India will continue to play a constructive and meaningful role in resolving the current situation in Myanmar.

'We welcome the ASEAN initiative on Myanmar agreed to at the ASEAN summit held on April 24. Our diplomatic engagement with Myanmar will be aimed at strengthening these efforts,' he said.

Myanmar has been rocked by massive protests since the military seized power in a coup on February 1. Hundreds of people including children were killed in the crackdown against the protesters by Myanmarese authorities.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday released a 'five-point consensus' on Myanmar that included “immediate cessation of violence” and holding constructive dialogue among all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution in resolving the crisis.

Myanmar is a member of the 10-nation grouping.

'India, as a friend of the people of Myanmar, will continue to play a constructive and meaningful role aimed at resolving the current situation in Myanmar. India's support to the democratic process in Myanmar remains steadfast,' Bagchi said.

According to the five-point consensus, the ASEAN will provide humanitarian assistance in Myanmar and it will appoint a special envoy to facilitate mediation in the dialogue process.

'First, there shall be immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties shall exercise utmost restraint,' the ASEAN said, Second, it said, constructive dialogue among all parties concerned would commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people of the country.

'Third, a special envoy of the ASEAN chair shall facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the secretary general of ASEAN,' it said, adding the fourth step would be providing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.

Fifth, it said, the special envoy and a delegation will visit Myanmar to meet with all the parties concerned. PTI MPB RT RT