At the senior official meeting, the Laotian officials said that they would not mind switching with Burma with its chair in 2014. Cambodia and Brunei will the Asean chair in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
After the setting up of a new civilian government under President Thein Sein at the end of March, Burma wrote to the Asean leaders that the country was ready to resume the chair, which it skipped in 2015 due to pressure fromAsean.
At the recent special meeting in Bangkok, the Asean foreign ministers said that the resumption of chairmanship is not automatic and it would depend on the situation on the ground. Asean has proposed to dispatch a fact finding team to Burma to access its readiness and overall situation. So far, Nayphidaw has not yet responded.
When the Asean leaders meet at their retreat later tonight in Jakarta, they have to decide whether to defer the matter or make the
decision right away. Other issues on the agenda include the modality of East Asia Summit, the implementation of Asean Connectivity,the future of Asean in a global community.
Indonesia switched its 2013 chairmanship with Brunei for the rotation this year.