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Ethnic Armed Groups and Govt Nationwide Ceasefire Talks Get Off To Positive Start

The senior delegation negotiating the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement on behalf of Burma’s ethnic armed organisations said in a statement that its talks with the government’s team got off to a good start.

The statement released on Wednesday 22 July, said that the two negotiating teams, the Ethnic Armed Organizations’ Senior Delegation (SD) and the Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) said the first day “was held successfully.”

Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein led the 14-member ethnic armed groups’ senior delegation, and the Union Minister U Aung Min led the UPWC team.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein, the ethnic groups’ senior delegation leader said.

“Having a nationwide ceasefire agreement is important to achieve peace, having political guarantees are also important to be included in the nationwide ceasefire agreement.”

Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein pointed out in her address that, “we are not negotiating for new points to add to the NCA draft, but are only negotiating on points that had already been discussed.”

The government’s UPWC team leader, U Aung Min, said his team had taken into consideration the concerns of the ethnic leaders and were prepared to make changes.

“We understand [the] ethnic concerns behind the points that the ethnic’s leaders at the Law Khee Lar [Summit] considered needed amendment. We would like to discuss and explain these points more in order to reduce the concerns. Some points are really sensitive to touch on or make changes to. However, we will make changes to get to the end on the nationwide ceasefire agreement.”

The senior delegation’s statement said that Wednesday’s meeting, held at the Myanmar Peace Center, discussed “12 provisions in the NCA text. Of the 12 NCA draft provisions, initial agreement was reached on four points.”

The media statement said that “negotiation of the remaining provisions in the NCA text and other principle matters will continue on the morning of [Thursday] July 23, 2015.”

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