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UK to Host G7 Foreign and Development Ministers on Dec10-12

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–The United Kingdom will be hosting a summit of foreign and development ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations and from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Liverpool next month.

The summit, slated to take place from Dec. 10 to Dec. 12, aims to address issues including economic resilience post-COVID-19, global health, and human rights, according to the UK Foreign Office on Nov. 22.

This will be this year’s second in-person meeting of G7 foreign ministers, following May’s meeting in London. The attendance builds on the May meeting, which included representatives from Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa.

Among the ASEAN Foreign Ministers expected to attend are those from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, marking the first inclusion of ASEAN countries at a G7 foreign ministers’ summit as a demonstration of “the UK’s growing Indo-Pacific tilt”.

Britain holds the rotating presidency of the G7 in 2021 and has already hosted the Conference of the Parties (COP) climate summit in Glasgow this month and the G7 leaders’ summit in Carbis Bay in June.

“I will be hosting our friends and partners to discuss how we build closer economic, technology, and security ties globally and deliver for the British people,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

“I want us to build a worldwide network of liberty that advances freedom, democracy, and enterprise, and encourages like-minded countries to work together from a position of strength.”

Myanmar, however, was excluded from the G7 foreign ministers’ summit.

According to Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office Amanda Milling, “the UK has been clear that the military regime in Myanmar is not welcome to attend in person”.

“We note ASEAN’s decision not to invite Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit,” Milling said on Oct. 19.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew an elected government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, bringing an end to 10 years of tentative democratic reform.

Milling stated that the UK government “condemns the military coup in Myanmar, the violence against the people of Myanmar, and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.”

Reuters reported that Myanmar’s junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was also excluded from attending a virtual China–ASEAN leaders’ summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 22.

Two sources from governments of the attending countries said Myanmar was to be represented instead by its ambassador to China.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Aldgra Fredly

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