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Can ASEAN put its foot down on intransigent Myanmar?

Time is running out for bloc to play a credible role as mediator in the crisis

From left: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Myanmar military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Indonesia succeeds Cambodia as ASEAN chair in 2023, but Myanmar remains a major headache. (Source photos by Reuters)

TOKYO -- Once regarded as the world's most successful regional organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is losing its luster. This year's ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh in November clearly showed its bright and dark sides.

The bright side is the bloc's decision to add East Timor as its first new member since Cambodia in 1999. East Timor will be allowed to participate in all ASEAN meetings as an observer until it gains full membership as the group's 11th member.

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