Indonesian minister to fly to Myanmar in first foreign envoy visit since coup - document

by Reuters
Tuesday, 23 February 2021 14:34 GMT

(Adds context on Indonesia proposals)

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will fly to Myanmar on Thursday in the first known trip to the Southeast Asian nation by a foreign envoy since the military seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, according to a leaked government document.

The letter from the Ministry of Transport, which a Myanmar official confirmed to Reuters was authentic, said she would arrive in the morning and fly back several hours later.

Tengku Faizasyah, a spokesman for the Indonesian foreign ministry, said the minister was in Thailand and may travel to other countries in the region afterwards, but could not confirm which.

Retno has been rallying support in Southeast Asia for a special meeting on Myanmar and sources said Jakarta has proposed the region sends monitors to ensure the generals hold "fair and inclusive" elections.

Myanmar's ruling military council, which has deposed and arrested leader Aung San Suu Kyi and most of her government, has said it would hold new elections and hand power to the victor, but has not set a timetable for the ballot.

A Reuters report on Monday detailing the election monitoring proposal sparked anger from protesters in Myanmar, some of whom rallied outside the Indonesian embassy in Yangon on Tuesday.

The proposal of sending election monitors to Myanmar is one of several pushed by Indonesia.

Others include facilitating dialogue between the junta and its opponents and setting up an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) taskforce to support a roadmap to "democratic transition", the sources said. (Reporting by Reuters staff; writing by Poppy McPherson; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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