Coveney condemns military coup in Myanmar 'in strongest possible terms'

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Coveney Condemns Military Coup In Myanmar 'In Strongest Possible Terms'
Simon Coveney said the coup was 'an undemocratic take over of power'
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Reuters

Additional reporting from Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that the Government "strongly condemns" the military coup in Myanmar "in the strongest possible terms".

Mr Coveney told Newstalk's Pat Kenny show that the coup was "an undemocratic take over of power."

Elsewhere, the United Nations condemned Myanmar's military on Monday after it seized power, calling for the release of elected leaders, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the developments were a "serious blow to democratic reforms" and urged all leaders to refrain from violence and respect human rights, a U.N. spokesman said.

The United States, Britain, Australia and the European Union condemned the military's coup and detentions and its declaration of a state of emergency. The army said it had taken action in response to "election fraud".

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China's response, however, was more muted.

"We have noted what has happened in Myanmar and are in the process of further understanding the situation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

U.S. President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation, the White House said.

“The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar's democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen also condemned the coup saying on Twitter: “The legitimate civilian government must be restored, in line with the country's constitution & the November elections.

“I call for the immediate & unconditional release of all those detained.”

"We call on Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on Nov. 8," Blinken said in a statement, using another name for Myanmar.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the coup. "The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released," he said on Twitter.

Democratic process

Japan said it opposed any reversal of the democratic process in Myanmar.

"We strongly call on the military government to restore democracy as soon as possible," said a Foreign Ministry statement.

That was echoed by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of all those detained.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne called on the military "to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others" who had been detained.

Detentions came after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the military after the November 8th election, in which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) scored a landslide win.

The army on Monday handed power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposed a state of emergency for one year, according to a statement on a military-owned television station.

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