Politics

US, Indonesia diplomats discuss Myanmar, Afghanistan

Antony Blinken, Retno Marsudi 'expressed deep concern over the coup in' Myanmar, says State Dept.

Michael Hernandez   | 16.02.2021
US, Indonesia diplomats discuss Myanmar, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, discussed a broad range of bilateral topics Tuesday, including the situations in Myanmar and Indonesia.​​​​​​​

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the diplomats "expressed deep concern over the coup in" Myanmar, and Blinken "thanked Minister Retno for her important work to bring peace to Afghanistan" during a telephone call.

"Secretary Blinken affirmed the growing significance of the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership to the prosperity and security of both nations, and pledged to further strengthen the broad range of our bilateral ties," said Price.

"Secretary Blinken agreed on the key role of ASEAN-centrality in the Indo-Pacific, and underscored the importance of protecting and preserving a free and open South China Sea," he added.

The call comes as protests in Myanmar continue following the military's power grab, with demonstrators demanding the release of elected leaders.

The military junta deployed troops and tanks Monday in Yangon as protests against the Feb. 1 coup continued in the country’s largest city, witnesses said.

Demonstrations have entered a second week, with La Min, a Yangon-based freelance photographer, saying it was the first time that soldiers and military tanks were deployed near protest sites.

Even though Myanmar authorities have escalated their crackdown and arrested demonstrators, protesters have again taken to the streets in different parts of the country to continue to register their resentments against the coup.

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