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UN, US, Many Others Concerned About Myanmar Military Takeover

An activist affiliated with Civil Society holds a placard during a protest against Myanmar's military after seizing power from a democratically elected civilian government and arresting its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 1, 2021.

The United Nations and many governments around the world expressed serious concern over the Myanmar military’s takeover of the country and called for the release of detained political leaders.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military. These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.”

In Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States “stands with the people” of Myanmar “in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development,” and called on the military to immediately reverse its actions.

The White House, in a statement, added, “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.” The statement said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the matter.

The European Union, Britain, Australia, India and Singapore all expressed their concerns about the situation as well.

Myanmar's military seized control of the country Monday under a state of emergency set to last one year, citing a lack of action on its claims of voter fraud in November elections. Hours earlier, Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other officials from the ruling National League for Democracy party, were detained.

China, one of Myanmar's most important economic partners, said it was still gathering information about the recent developments.

"We have noted what happened in Myanmar, and we are learning the further situation now. China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar. We hope that all parties in Myanmar will properly handle their differences under the constitutional and legal framework and maintain political and social stability,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.