Brunei said in the statement that a non-political figure from Myanmar would be invited to the summit, after no consensus was reached for a political representative to attend.
Brunei’s foreign minister also said there had been “insufficient progress” on a roadmap to restore peace to Myanmar that the junta agreed with ASEAN in April, as well as “concerns” concerning the junta’s commitment to establish a constructive dialogue between all parties concerned.
“Some ASEAN member states have recommended that ASEAN give Myanmar space to restore internal affairs and return to normal,” the statement said.
“The discussions and decision on the issue of Myanmar’s representation were taken without consensus and were contrary to ASEAN’s goals,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Ignoring the good traditions of ASEAN of fostering unity in diversity and resolving differences through consultation and consensus would greatly affect the unity and centrality of ASEAN,” he said. added.
A spokesman for Myanmar’s military government previously blamed “foreign intervention” for the move.
Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it supported the exclusion of the Burmese junta, saying it was a “difficult but necessary decision” to maintain ASEAN’s credibility.
“Singapore urges the Burmese military authorities to cooperate with the special envoy to quickly and fully implement the five-point consensus,” the ministry said in a statement.
ASEAN’s decision to exclude the Myanmar junta marks a rare bold step for the consensual bloc, which has traditionally favored a policy of engagement and non-interference.
It is also an unprecedented snub for Min Aung Hlaing, who carried out a coup against an elected civilian government in February and detained the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for electoral irregularities. presumed.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Burmese security forces and thousands more have been arrested, according to the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests that derailed the country’s timid democracy and drew international condemnation.
The junta says these estimates of the death toll are exaggerated.
In August, Min Aung Hlaing declared himself prime minister of a newly formed interim government. In a speech to the nation on August 1, he reiterated his pledge to hold elections by 2023 and said his administration was ready to work with a future regional envoy for Myanmar.
ASEAN has faced increasing international pressure to take a stronger stand against Myanmar, having been criticized in the past for its ineffectiveness in dealing with leaders accused of rights violations, subversion of democracy and intimidation. political opponents.
A US State Department official told reporters on Friday that it was “perfectly appropriate and indeed very justified” for ASEAN to downgrade Myanmar’s participation in the upcoming summit.
In its statement, Singapore urged Myanmar to cooperate with ASEAN envoy, Brunei Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof.
Erywan delayed a long-planned visit to the country in recent weeks and demanded to meet with all parties in Myanmar, including ousted leader Suu Kyi.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said this week that Erywan would be welcome in Myanmar but would not be allowed to meet Suu Kyi as she is accused of crimes.
Malaysia’s foreign minister said it would be up to the Myanmar junta to decide on an alternate summit representative.
“We never thought of removing Myanmar from ASEAN, we believe Myanmar has the same rights (as we),” Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters according to the national news agency Bernama. .
“But the junta did not cooperate, so ASEAN must be strong to defend its credibility and integrity,” he added.