ASEAN not as effective as hoped in Myanmar: Singapore

"Right now, as far as I know, the violence hasn't stopped," Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Reuters in an interview. "Political detainees have not been released. And I am not aware of any direct or indirect talks between the different stakeholders in Myanmar."

The United Nations and many countries have urged ASEAN, whose 10 members include Myanmar, to restore stability through diplomacy.

"The key litmus test now will be how they (the military junta) engage with our special envoy," Balakrishnan said.

Singapore is small but wields strong economic and political influence in Southeast Asia.

The minister was speaking to Reuters two days ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's trip to Vietnam and Singapore. The trip is set to show that the Biden administration is committed to a "free and open Indo-Pacific" and that the United States is in the region "to stay," according to a senior administration official.

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