KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Asean Special Envoy to Myanmar Erywan Mohd Yusof is still trying to get a date to visit Myanmar.
Saifuddin, who just returned to the foreign affairs portfolio for his second stint, said he has spoken to Erywan on Wednesday and conveyed his views including that the visit at best be conducted before the Asean summit next month.
“I understand that the special envoy is in contact with the current authority in Myanmar and trying very hard to get to Myanmar as soon as possible,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference, here today.
Saifuddin also highlighted that Erywan, who is Brunei’s second foreign minister, must be given access to meet as many groups as possible in line with the point number five of the consensus.
“We have some concern that the Myanmar authority may not be giving access to all stakeholders, but nevertheless, I told Erywan that he should as quickly as possible try to visit Myanmar more than once during his tenure and hopefully then he will be able to meet as many stakeholders as possible,” he said.
Saifuddin also expressed concern on humanitarian assistance as the Asean Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) Centre, which is supposed to deliver aid to Myanmar, is not ready for humanitarian assistance in conflict zone.
“This is a big problem for the AHA Centre and I think Erywan is trying to find ways and means so that regardless of the hindrance, the humanitarian assistance can be sent to all prospective recipients,” he said.
The five-point consensus are the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties to exercise utmost restraint; constructive dialogue among all parties concerned to commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people; a special envoy of the Asean Chair to facilitate mediation of the dialogue process with the assistance of the Secretary-General of Asean; the association to provide humanitarian assistance through the AHA Centre; and the special envoy and delegation to visit Myanmar to meet with all parties concerned.
On Afghanistan, Saifuddin reiterated his statement on Wednesday that Malaysia is taking a very cautious approach in deciding its official stand on the Taliban government and following very closely the development in the country through its high commissions in New Delhi and Islamabad.
“Yesterday, I have met with a group of CSOs (civil society organisations) in particular Global Relief Malaysia who is sending a group of seven people to Afghanistan as a fact finding mission. We are using all avenues,” he said.
The Taliban fighters entered Kabul on August 15 and took control of Afghanistan for the first time in almost 20 years as the US troops withdrew from the country. Following the Taliban’s capture of the Afghan capital, president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani left the country.
Asked about the increasing number of the remains of foreign nationals who died from Covid-19 that were not claimed by the embassies, Saifuddin said Wisma Putra is in contact with the respected embassies through the National Security Council (MKN). — Bernama