The United Nations Security Council called for the release of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others detained by the military and stressed the need to uphold democracy, but stopped short of condemning this week’s coup.
The 15-member UN Security Council said in a statement agreed by consensus on Thursday that they “stressed the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, and fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.”
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Language in the statement was softer than the original draft by Britain and made no mention of a coup – apparently to win support from China and Russia, which have traditionally shielded Myanmar from significant council action. China also has large economic interests in Myanmar and ties to the military.
In the United States, President Joe Biden said the military should step down and his security adviser said the administration was considering an executive order that could include sanctions.
China’s UN mission said Beijing hoped the key messages in the statement “could be heeded by all sides and lead to a positive outcome” in Myanmar.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Myanmar government for comment.
Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, has not been seen since her arrest. Police have filed charges against her for illegally importing and using six walkie-talkie radios found at her home.