ASEAN foreign ministers arranged on Friday to exclude the military leadership of Myanmar from the regional group's summit meeting later this month in favor of a non-political representative, an ASEAN source said.

The decision to exclude Myanmar's military leader marks a historic shift for ASEAN from its principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of member countries.

At an emergency online meeting, the ministers arranged not to invite Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who led a coup in February that ousted Myanmar's elected government under civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the source added.

Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces and Head of Myanmar's coup regime, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, Russia on June 23, 2021. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

Brunei, this year's chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is expected to issue a statement Saturday on the emergency meeting, according to ASEAN sources.

ASEAN has been facing pressure from the United States to take a tougher stance on the issue.

Some member countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, proposed that Myanmar's military leader not be allowed to participate in the summit over a lack of cooperation from the military government, including its failure to accept a special ASEAN envoy.

The ministers held the emergency meeting to discuss whether the Myanmar military leader should be allowed to attend the summit, scheduled for Oct. 26 to 28, after the government failed to cooperate with Brunei's Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof, appointed special envoy for Myanmar in August, on a proposed visit to the country on ASEAN's terms requesting full access to the parties in conflict.

Screenshot shows representatives of the countries participating in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers' emergency online meeting on Oct. 15, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand)(Kyodo)

"Different views were shared among ASEAN, however, the majority preferred a non-political figure to represent Myanmar at the summit while one or two said that it should be foreign ministers level at most," said the ASEAN source.

The foreign minister of one member country suggested during the meeting that as a face-saving measure, the Myanmar military leader should send a letter to ASEAN through his foreign minister to say he is too busy to attend the summit, the source said.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi tweeted that she proposed the participation of Myanmar at the summit "should not be represented at the political level until Myanmar restore its democracy through an inclusive process."

At the emergency meeting, the ministers also tasked the envoy with visiting Myanmar as soon as possible ahead of the summit.

However, the date for such a trip has not been fixed, as the envoy still needs to "work out with Myanmar the program such as whom to meet," said the source, adding that Myanmar's foreign minister reiterated the difficulty of allowing the envoy to meet Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and others who were ousted by the military.

Efforts to negotiate with the junta for the visit on ASEAN's terms ended unsuccessfully earlier this week.

The military government said in a statement on Thursday that the special envoy had "proposed a list of names of individuals with whom he wishes to meet and other actions required from Myanmar for his visit." But it said that "some requests which go beyond the permission of existing laws will be difficult to accommodate."

ASEAN seems divided on how to deal with Myanmar, with some countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines calling for a tougher stance, while others prefer a softer approach.

Thailand's foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday that "Thailand views Myanmar as a member of the ASEAN family" and expressed hope that the visit by the special envoy will happen soon.