Myanmar won’t be allowed to lead Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2026, in blow to generals

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Myanmar won’t take over the rotating leadership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as scheduled in 2026, in the latest blow to efforts by its ruling generals to gain international recognition after violently seizing power in 2021. The Philippine president said at an ASEAN summit on Tuesday that his country has agreed to take over the regional bloc’s chairmanship in 2026. He didn’t explain why Myanmar lost the prestigious yearlong chairmanship, but two ASEAN diplomats say it was related to continuing civil strife in the country. Western governments led by the United States have condemned the Myanmar army’s ouster of Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government in 2021 and have demanded her immediate release.