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October 16, 2018

NCA signatories hold preliminary meeting ahead of summit

The Peace Process Steering Team holds a meeting to prepare for summit near Mount Popa on 15 October.  
Photo: EPRN

The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) of the ethnic signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) held an emergency preliminary meeting in Chiang Mai yesterday, and which will continue today.
The two-day meeting will discuss about the summit between top leaders from the government, Tatmadaw, and the 10 near NCA signatories, scheduled to be held the foot of Mount Popa on 15 October.
PPST Chairman and Karen National Union (KNU) Chairman Saw Mutu Say Poe said the meeting is held to review the reports of the preparatory team that attended the unofficial discussions held with the Union Government concerning the upcoming 10-plus-10 summit so that a single unified stand can be established, with an appropriate course of actions drawn up from it. He said the action plan will attempt to bridge the profound gap between basic political principles of all stakeholders.
The KNU Chairman said they have to find out if both sides adhere to the NCA and review the preparatory team’s reports to see if they are consistent with the NCA. This is because the NCA was accomplished after traversing through numerous difficulties, and such it is a roadmap that cannot be deviated from, said the KNU Chairman.
He added that the KNU’s policy is to work together on similar tasks and to separate work on different tasks. He said the time is crucial for all 10 NCA signatories to establish a unified stand and to find ways for the non-signatories to participate in the peace process so that a future federal democratic union can be realized.
In a press conference held by the Office of the President in Nay Pyi Taw on 5 October, Director-General U Zaw Htay said the upcoming summit is vital and could resolve the issues that are delaying the peace process since top government officials will be attending.
He said both State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing will be attending the upcoming summit, stressing that even in the peace process’ highest meeting, the Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting (JICM), only the Deputy Commander-in-Chief was present.
“This summit is the first of its kind,” said U Zaw Htay. He continued, saying, “How deep the consideration and desire for peace will be evident by whether you attend the summit or not. If you don’t attend then you have to state your reason to the public. We’ve requested all Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to attend the summit to resolve all issues delaying the peace process.”
The official signing of the NCA will reach its 3rd anniversary this 15 October, which is why the 10-plus-10 summit between the top leaders of the government, Tatmadaw and EAOs is being held to accelerate the peace process.
The Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PLNO) has released an announcement that approves and welcomes the upcoming summit.

 

Ye Khaung Nyunt

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