Home / News / World /  Myanmar invited to regional military meeting co-chaired by United States

The Myanmar military, known for its involvement in alleged ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority, has been extended an invitation to participate in a regional military meeting. The meeting is set to be co-chaired by the United States and Thailand and has been confirmed by the U.S. military.

In recent years, the Myanmar military has been widely condemned for its actions towards the Rohingya population. The military's crackdown in 2017 forced more than 730,000 Rohingya from their homes and into Bangladesh, resulting in reported cases of murder, mass rape, and arson. Additionally, the military staged a coup in 2021, solidifying their control over the country's political and military power.

The Biden administration declared last year that the violence inflicted upon the Rohingya people by the Myanmar military constituted genocide and crimes against humanity. However, the military denies these accusations and claims that the offensive was targeted towards Rohingya rebels who carried out attacks.

Over one million Rohingya individuals are currently residing in overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh, making it the largest such settlement in the world. Unfortunately, the Rohingya people face limited opportunities for repatriation to Myanmar where they face denial of citizenship and other rights.

The United States and Thailand are jointly leading the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting's experts group on maritime security and its related activities.

A Pentagon spokesman said that the attendance is determined by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

"The United States continues to join the international community in responding forcefully to the military coup in Myanmar to urge the regime to end violence, release all those unjustly detained, and restore its path to democracy, to include through ADMM-Plus forums," Lieutenant Colonel Marty Meiners, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

The news was first reported by Myanmar Now.

This is not the first time the United States has invited Myanmar to a military exercise. Myanmar attended the same forum virtually last year.

In 2017, the Pentagon invited Myanmar as an observer in a major multinational military exercise led by the United States and Thailand.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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