Insofar as the Union government’s agenda for ethnic reconciliation is concerned, there is little doubt that the north, where the most powerful rebel armies operate, holds the key to a permanent negotiated settlement.
The Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee released a statement on Thursday conveying the ethnic armed bloc’s intention to join the next iteration of the government’s 21st Century Panglong Conference if its members are officially invited to do so.
The government Peace Commission is preparing to meet “soon” with members of a recently formed alliance of ethnic armed groups based largely in Burma’s north, an apparent signal that the new coalition is increasingly viewed as an important factor in the peace process calculus.
The dwindling alliance of ethnic armed groups joined under the United Nationalities Federal Council banner convenes a conference in Thailand chaired by a leader of one of its former members, the influential Kachin Independence Army.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will meet with seven allied ethnic armed groups that are not signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on the sidelines of the ongoing 21st Century Panglong Conference in the capital on Friday, a government official has confirmed.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi opened a second round of peace talks under her government here in the capital on Wednesday, predicting that the coming days would bring “intense discussions, exchanges of views, debates and difficult decisions.”
A negotiating committee representing seven ethnic armed groups in northern Burma says it intends to attend next week’s Union Peace Conference in Naypyidaw, which is being organised by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s government.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday that China would continue to help the country achieve peace, and called for both sides to maintain stability on their shared border, state media said.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and invited him to attend the 21st Century Panglong Conference next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
The Arakan National Party says its decision on whether or not to participate in the 21st Century Panglong Conference’s second round will be made after weighing the outcomes of a meeting of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee this week.