Myanmar junta hires Israeli lobbyist to boost ties with West

An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar’s junta downplays the military’s coup in the country and claims that the the generals will leave politics shortly, while seeking to improve relations with the US and distancing themselves from China.

Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli Military Intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Sudan’s military rulers, tells Reuters that the military junta also wants to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who have undergone genocide and fled to neighboring Bangladesh.

The international community has widely condemned the military-led coup in Myanmar.

Ben-Menashe says he was hired because the West “misunderstands” the Myanmar military.

“There’s a real push to move towards the West and the United States as opposed to trying to get closer to the Chinese,” Ben-Menashe says. “They don’t want to be a Chinese puppet.”

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