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Widespread international condemnation of the Myanmar coup and Washington threatening military leaders with sanctions

Several countries, led by the United States, condemned the military coup in Myanmar and the army’s seizure of power, while other countries called on all parties in Myanmar to show restraint and engage in dialogue.

And at dawn on Monday, leaders of the Myanmar army carried out a military coup, during which officials were arrested, including the country’s president, Win Myint, and the leader of the ruling National League for Democracy, Chancellor Aung San Sochi.

In Washington, the White House issued a statement confirming that it was following reports on the Myanmar military taking steps to undermine the democratic process in the country, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Sochi and other civilian officials.

The statement said, “The United States opposes any attempt to change the results of the recent elections, or impede the process of transformation in Myanmar, and will take measures against officials unless these steps are canceled.”

He added that Washington, in coordination with its regional partners, urges the army and other parties to abide by the rules of democracy and the rule of law and the immediate release of these detainees.

The State Department called on military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people as it was expressed in the democratic elections last November.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, “The military in Myanmar must immediately backtrack on the measures it has taken and release the detainees.”

International condemnation

For his part, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed his grave concern about the transfer of all powers in Myanmar to the army, noting that these developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms.

It strongly condemned the detention of the Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Sochi and other political leaders.

European Council President Charles Michel on Monday condemned “strongly” the coup carried out by the army in Myanmar, calling for the release of all those who were illegally detained.

“I strongly condemn the coup in Burma (Myanmar) and call on the military to release all those unlawfully arrested during raids across the country. The election results must be respected and the democratic process restored,” Michel said in a tweet on Twitter.

In turn, European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in a tweet that the people of Myanmar want democracy, stressing that the European Union is with them.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the coup in Myanmar and the illegal arrest of Aung San Sochi.

“I condemn the coup and the illegal imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Sochi, in Burma (Myanmar). The people’s vote must be respected and civilian leaders released,” Johnson wrote in a tweet.

Wide condemnations

Turkey strongly condemned the military coup and the army’s takeover of power in Myanmar, and affirmed its principled position rejecting all forms of coups.

“We await the immediate release of all elected Myanmar leaders and arrested civilians,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

She expressed the hope that this dangerous development will not exacerbate the situation of the Rohingya Muslims who live under harsh conditions in Myanmar.

In turn, Australian Foreign Minister Maryse Payne said, “We call on the military to respect the rule of law, resolve disputes through legal mechanisms and to immediately release all political leaders from civil society and other persons illegally detained.”

And Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Bob Ray wrote in a tweet that the Burmese (Myanmar) army drafted the constitution in this way in order to be able to carry out a coup.

He added, “The 2008 constitution was specifically designed to ensure that military force is deeply entrenched and protected.”

Asian positions

In the first comment by Indonesia – which had a role in efforts to push Myanmar towards the democratic path – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its deep regret over the recent developments in Myanmar, and called for adherence to the ASEAN Charter and affirmation of commitment to democratic principles and constitutional rule.

It also urged all parties to exercise restraint, pursue dialogue, and resolve differences over the results of the recent elections through the available legal mechanisms.

In turn, Beijing Monday urged all parties in Myanmar to “resolve differences” within the constitutional framework.

“China is a friendly neighbor of Burma (Myanmar) and hopes that the various parties in it will resolve their differences within the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability,” said Wang Weinbin, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a press conference.

The Japanese government also called on the military in Myanmar to release Aung San Sochi and restore democracy to the country.

“We request the release of the persons concerned, including State Counselor Aung San Sochi, who was arrested today,” the Japanese foreign minister said, calling on the army to quickly restore the democratic political system to Myanmar.

“We have witnessed with deep concern the events in Burma (Myanmar). India has always provided continuous support to the process of democratic transition in Burma (Myanmar). We consider that the rule of law and the democratic mechanism should be respected,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The situation in Singapore was no different, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “grave concern” about the situation in Burma (Myanmar), hoping that all parties would show “restraint.”

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