The Financial Express

US, Australia call for inclusive dialogue in Myanmar

| Updated: September 18, 2021 10:15:04

US, Australia call for inclusive dialogue in Myanmar

The US and Australia have called for a swift return to democracy, inclusive dialogue between all parties, and immediate, unimpeded humanitarian access in Myanmar.

"The secretaries and ministers remain gravely concerned about the situation in Myanmar," said a joint statement released by the governments of the US and Australia on the occasion of the 31st Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2021.

They urged a cessation of violence and the release of political prisoners and those arbitrarily detained, including Australian Professor Sean Turnell and US journalist Danny Fenster, as per a report on UNB agency.

Both sides expressed support for the mandate of the special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chair on Myanmar and encouraged ASEAN to hold Myanmar accountable to the five-point consensus.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hosted Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton in Washington DC for the 31st AUSMIN 2021.

The US and Australia will continue to advance peace, security, and prosperity to ensure an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific region, reads the joint statement. "Our allies and partners are our greatest strategic asset and central to achieving our collective goals in the region."

They will pursue closer cooperation in priority areas, including regional security, infrastructure, economic growth, technology, democratic resilience, human rights, climate challenge, and pandemic response.

The secretaries and ministers reaffirmed their commitment to working through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) to support Indo-Pacific partners to respond to the defining challenges of today's world.

Quad is already making a difference on Covid-19 vaccine production and delivery through the Quad Vaccine Partnership, and deepening cooperation on other core regional challenges, including climate change, critical and emerging technology, maritime security, infrastructure, cyber, and countering disinformation.

The US and Australia are committed to regular Quad engagement at all levels, including the second Leaders' Summit scheduled for September 24.

The secretaries and ministers expressed a strong commitment to Southeast Asia, ASEAN centrality, and ASEAN-led architecture.

They underscored the role of the East Asia Summit as the region's premier, a leader-led forum for addressing strategic challenges and expressed their ongoing support for the practical implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Share if you like