Burma / Myanmar – Reply by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly (Paris, 2 February 2021)

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Thank you for asking this question and strongly alerting the nation’s elected representatives and the public about the situation in Burma, which is extremely serious.

The President, Mr Win Myint, has been arrested, as have Ms Aung San Suu Kyi and other figures. This coup d’état is unacceptable, I’ve condemned it myself, you were kind enough to echo me, and we’re demanding that the results of the election held on 8 November 2020 – which was the culmination of a lengthy democratic process that gave Ms Aung San Suu Kyi an absolutely spectacular result – must be ratified. The Burmese people expressed themselves, expressed themselves democratically, and they must be heard.

So at this very moment, at our request, the Security Council is meeting in New York, with the support of the Europeans, and I think the message that will emerge from that meeting will be one of great firmness. At European level, we initiated actions against the Burmese military authorities as early as two years ago, with severe sanctions against certain army officers who had organized human rights violations against the Rohingya people. And I have to say on this, to avoid any confusion, that I’m convinced – like you, I believe – that the response to the Rohingya crisis must firstly involve the success of the democratic process in Burma.

That’s why if, by any chance, the military authorities don’t reverse their coup d’état, the issue of new measures will be taken up at European level, in the coming days, as a matter of urgency.