Gaza, Myanmar conflicts high on agenda at ASEAN defense meeting

Defense chiefs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations started a series of talks on Wednesday in Jakarta.

The discussions were dominated by ongoing armed conflicts. In the opening address, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto called for immediate cessation of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Prabowo said that the violence against the civilian population must stop and efforts to achieve a ceasefire must continue. He also said that the safe passage of humanitarian aid must be widened and accelerated.

Indonesia holds ASEAN chairmanship this year.

A security crisis in Myanmar was also high on the agenda, as the situation deteriorates in the country.
Myanmar's military-appointed defense minister was again barred from attending the meeting, due to the junta's failure to implement ASEAN's five-point peace plan.

The plan includes an immediate halt to violence and the brokering of dialogue between the junta and pro-democracy groups. ASEAN members reiterated the need to support the plan's full implementation.

Prabowo urged ASEAN members to remain united and vigilant in the face of the conflicts. He also stressed the need for the United Nations to take more action to prevent the fighting from happening again.