In the wake of the meeting between President U Thein Sein and leaders of 12 ethnic armed groups at Myanmar International Convention Centre 2 in Nay Pyi Taw, U Aung Min said: “Some ethnic groups have expressed their hope to sign a peace deal on Union Day. However, we need to tackle issues including holding a meeting between the President and all armed groups.”
The two-hour meeting held on January 5 was the first discussion between President U Thein Sein and representatives of 12 out of a total of 16 main ethnic armed groups.
Representatives from the remaining four groups, including the Kachin Independence Army, did not attend the meeting.
Despite some progress in peace-making efforts, a date has not been set to sign a nationwide peace agreement due to the need to take these steps, said U Aung Min, the government’s main peace negotiator.
During the meeting with ethnic leaders, President U Thein Sein said: “The only way to end civil conflict is through political dialogue. When we, all the parties, can make politically firm agreements, reconciliation will materialize.”
Pado Saw Kwal Htoo Win, vice president of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team, said: “We want to sign a peace deal on Union Day. But there are some remaining issues to be dealt with.”
Colonel Khun Okka, a member of the NCCT, said that military affairs are the pending issues to be discussed.
During the meeting, the President asked the 12 armed group representatives to help during the 2015 general elections.