Published On:March 22, 2021, 2:33 pm
Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's foreign minister, will visit Brunei Darussalam on Monday before travelling to Malaysia and Indonesia, according to the foreign affairs ministry. The minister's visit reaffirmed Singapore and Brunei's close and long-standing special relationship, according to the ministry. The visits were not explained in the statement, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for an end to the bloodshed in military-ruled Myanmar last week, and for Southeast Asian leaders to convene a high-level meeting to try to find a way out of the country's escalating crisis.
Balakrishnan is expected to arrive in Malaysia on Tuesday for a two-day visit, during which he will meet with Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues, according to Malaysia's foreign ministry. In addition, Balakrishnan will meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Brunei is the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has ten members (ASEAN). Myanmar, an ASEAN member, has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the elected government of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, putting an end to ten years of preliminary democratic reform. According to figures from the activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 250 people have been killed since the military coup. On March 2, an ASEAN meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the crisis failed to produce a breakthrough.
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