Cambodia's former PM urges Myanmar junta chief to allow video call with Suu Kyi

Cambodia's parliament votes to confirm new prime minister

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's former Prime Minister Hun Sen asked Myanmar's ruling general on Tuesday to allow him to speak to detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on a video call, a request he said the junta chief would consider.

Suu Kyi, the figurehead of Myanmar's struggle against military rule, was arrested during a 2021 coup and has since been sentenced to 27 years in prison for a multitude of offences her allies say she did not commit.

Hun Sen, who stepped down to make way for his son last year after nearly four decades in charge of Cambodia, spoke on Tuesday via video telephone call with Min Aung Hlaing, the general who led the coup against Suu Kyi's elected government.

In a post on his Facebook page that showed a picture of the two speaking on video, Hun Sen said Min Aung Hlaing agreed to give the request "high consideration". Cambodia would send a special envoy to Myanmar, Hun Sen added.

Hun Sen, now president of Cambodia's Senate, has no official mediation role in Myanmar's post-coup conflict and it was not immediately clear why he had sought access to Suu Kyi.

Myanmar's military government could not immediately be reached for comment.

It is not clear where Suu Kyi is being held and her family and lawyers say they have no access to her. The military maintains she has received due process.

Myanmar is locked in a civil war between the military on one side and, on the other, a loose alliance of established ethnic minority rebels and an armed resistance movement formed out of the junta's bloody crackdown on anti-coup protests.

The conflict is the biggest challenge facing the military since it first took power in the former British colony in 1962, with battles on several fronts to quell uprisings and stabilise an economy that has wilted since the coup.

The junta and an emboldened resistance face a critical window in the conflict, as rain-laden monsoon clouds are set to begin rolling across Myanmar around early June and swamp the frontlines.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)