ASEAN defence chiefs call for end to Myanmar crisis, Israel-Hamas war

JAKARTA-Southeast Asian defence ministers called for an end to the Myanmar crisis and to the Israel-Hamas war on Wednesday as they gathered for talks that will include meetings with regional counterparts and the Pentagon chief. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Jakarta were dominated by issues ranging from the Myanmar crisis to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea. Muslim-majority Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo called on US President Joe Biden this week to help bring about a ceasefire in Gaza. His defence minister Prabowo Subianto opened talks on Wednesday echoing that call, saying he was “deeply saddened” by events in the Palestinian territory where Israel has launched a relentless assault to destroy Hamas in response to attacks on October 7.

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