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Burma’s military chiefs are committed to peace as per the policies of the Union Government, said President Thein Sein, adding that all parties must now cooperate with each other with a sense of trust.
Speaking on Monday at a meeting in Naypyidaw with Wa representative Kyauk Kaw Ern, Shan State Army-North Vice-chairman Sao Khae Tai and Mong La leader San Pae, the president said political problems should only be resolved by dialogue, and pledged that development in the form of education, health and rehabilitation would begin after the signing of a nationwide ceasefire, according to the Ministry of Information.
Issues involving the details of the nationwide ceasefire agreement, future political dialogue and regional development were also discussed, the ministry said.
Two of the three ethnic armed groups represented at Monday’s meeting – the United Wa State Army and the National Democratic Alliance Army, also known as the Mong La Group – have already signed bilateral ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government, but have not been involved in ongoing talks between Naypyidaw and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), an ethnic alliance of 16 armed groups. The Shan State Army-North are members of the NCCT, which concluded a fifth round of negotiations on 17 August in Rangoon where both delegations emerged with positive accounts of progress.
During the latest round of talks, the government delegation also acceded to the ethnic bloc’s call for the country to become a federal union.
According to state media, Kyauk Kaw Ern, Sao Khae Tai and San Pae assured Thein Sein on Monday that they stood behind the military’s “three national causes” campaign, namely “non-disintegration of the Union”, “non-disintegration of national solidarity”, and “perpetuation of sovereignty”.
After meeting with the president, the three ethnic leaders met with military Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing to discuss policies on maintaining peace, regional development and drug prevention.
Min Aung Hlaing reportedly reiterated his “six policies for peace” plan to the ethnic representatives: to have a genuine will to achieve peace; to adhere to all agreements; not to take advantage of peace agreements; not to put a burden on the local population; to follow the “three causes”; and to abide by the 2008 Constitution.
Kyauk Kaw Ern, Sao Khae Tai and San Pae were scheduled to hold talks on Tuesday with parliamentarians in the Burmese capital.