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Myanmar army ruler pledges elections, ASEAN cooperation in speech six months after coup By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar’s armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his speech at the IX Moscow conference on international security in Moscow, Russia June 23, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters) -Myanmar’s military ruler Min Aung Hlaing on Sunday again promised new multi-party elections and said his government is ready to work with any special envoy named by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He spoke in a televised address six months after the army seized power from a civilian government after disputed elections won by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, which he described as “terrorists”.

“Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework including the dialogue with the ASEAN Special Envoy in Myanmar,” Min Aung Hlaing said.

ASEAN foreign ministers are to meet on Monday, when diplomats say they aim to finalise a special envoy tasked with ending violence and promoting dialogue between the junta and its opponents.

The army seized power on Feb. 1 from the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi after her ruling party won elections that the military argued were tainted by fraud. The country’s electoral commission dismissed this allegation.

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