Britain will acknowledge the dismissal of Myanmar's ambassador to London after he was locked out of the embassy for condemning the military coup against Aung San Suu Kyi, despite deploring the move.
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, this morning condemned the "bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime" after ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn was kicked out of the country's Mayfair diplomatic mission on Wednesday evening.
"I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage. The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy," he said.
But the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said it would be obliged to accept the move after it received formal diplomatic notification of Kyaw Zwar Minn's dismissal from the Myanmar authorities.
"We made clear in our communications with the Myanmar authorities last night that the UK must recieve formal notification of the termination of the Ambassador's position through the appropriate diplomatic channels," an FCDO spokesman said.
"That has since been received and we therefore must accept the decision taken by the Myanmar Government regarding Kyaw Zwar Minn's position."
Kyaw Zwar Minn is a former colonel in the Myanmar military who had served as ambassador since 2014.
He publicly broke with the military authorities in Myanmar last month when he issued a statement condemning the February 1 coup and calling for Aung Sann Suu Kyi's release.
He also met with Mr Raab who publicly praised his bravery for taking such a stand.
Following his statement, Myanmar’s state broadcaster said he had been recalled as ambassador for issuing an unauthorised declaration.
On Wednesday evening he found himself stranded on the pavement outside the Embassy after staff refused to allow him back in.
He told the Telegraph: “When I left the embassy, they stormed inside the embassy and took it. They are from the Myanmar military.
“They are refusing to let me inside. They said they received instruction from the capital, so they are not going to let me in.
“This a coup. This is the UK, we are not in Myanmar, in Burma. They are not able to do this. The British Government won’t allow this one, you’ll see that.”
Unconfirmed reports claimed that Chit Win, deputy ambassador, and the nation's military attaché had taken control of the embassy and locked the ambassador out, with Chit Win appointed the new de facto head of the nation’s mission.
UK diplomats told their Burmese counterparts they would only accept his dismissal if they received formal notification via diplomatic channels.
That notification arrived by Thursday morning. British authorities are in contact with the newly appointed Charge d'Affaires.
Myanmar has not yet announced a replacement ambassador.
The British government cannot block the appointment of Chit Win as Charge d'Affaires, the diplomatic term for a temporary head of mission when there is no acting ambassador.
It could however block the appointment of a new ambassador if one were proposed. Like many countries Britain insists that it recognises only states not governments.
That formula is meant to allow for the practical necessity of continuing diplomatic contact with governments that have seized power illegally, without conferring recognition of their legitimacy.