A meeting in Bangkok on Friday about Southeast Asia's migrant crisis is unlikely to produce a binding agreement or plan of action to save thousands of people believed stranded on boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, participants said.
The meeting will bring together 17 countries from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and elsewhere in Asia, along with the United States, Switzerland and international organisations like UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency.
But many attendees are not ministerial-level and the meeting may not have the heft that organisers in Bangkok hope for. According to the Thai Foreign Ministry, at least three of the countries central to the crisis will not be sending ministers: Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Myanmar said on Thursday it had no plans to reach an agreement in Bangkok.
"We are going there only to discuss the regional crisis which all of the ASEAN countries are facing," its delegation head, Foreign Ministry Director-General Htein Lin, told Reuters.