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US President Joe Biden condemns military coup and “horrific violence” in Myanmar

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The United States strongly supports ASEAN’s approach to the Indo-Pacific,” said Joe Biden

Washington:

US President Joe Biden condemned the military coup and “horrific violence” in Myanmar at a summit with ASEAN leaders on Tuesday, the White House said.

A statement said that while addressing the virtual summit, Biden expressed “serious concern about the military coup and the horrific violence in Burma and the unjustly detained, unjustified detentions, immediately ending the violence from the country’s military regime.” Called for the release of those who went and restore Burma’s path to democracy.”

Myanmar’s military government boycotted the ASEAN summit, which was hosted by Brunei, as its chief was banned in response to a power grab in February and subsequent deadly crackdown on dissent.

The strong White House statement came after Biden made public opening remarks at the ASEAN meeting in which he made a veiled reference to countering China, but did not mention Myanmar.

Speaking by video link from the White House, Biden called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations “essential” and said the United States is “committed to the centrality of ASEAN.”

The United States is not a member of the 10-nation body, but sees ASEAN as a key component in its strategy against rapidly increasing opposition to China’s diplomatic, commercial and military presence across Asia.

Biden, who has had two phone calls with Chinese President Xi Jinping since becoming president and is also planning a virtual summit later this year, did not directly mention Beijing.

However, his focus was clear, calling ASEAN “a linchpin” in maintaining a region “where every nation can compete and succeed on an equal playing field and all nations, no matter how big or powerful, Follow the law.”

Biden said the US-ASEAN partnership is “essential to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific that has been the foundation of our shared security and prosperity for many decades.”

“The United States strongly supports ASEAN’s approach to the Indo-Pacific and the rules-based international order.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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