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Ethnic Myanmar leaders to meet over ceasefire deal

Yangon : Myanmar’s ethnic leaders are planning to meet again to have further discussions on a second draft of the proposed ceasefire agreement with the government, media reported Wednesday.

The meeting is being planned ahead of the next formal meeting between negotiators of the government and the ethnic armed groups, Xinhua reported citing state media.

Quoting Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, secretary-general of the Karen National Union (KNU), the report said the date of the summit has not been set yet but the government, which has pledged support for the ethnic summit, suggested the city of Tachiliek in Shan state as the venue.

The government’s Peace-Making Work Committee (PMWC) and the ethnic armed groups’ National Cease-fire Coordination Team (NCCT), which represents 16 ethnic armed groups, worked out their second draft of the single text nationwide ceasefire agreement in Yangon May 23 after three-day peace talks.

The second draft nationwide ceasefire agreement was adopted and is expected to be finalised in June, according to a joint statement of the two sides.

Both sides stressed in the statement that “great strides are being made in pursuit of political dialogue” with the nationwide ceasefire agreement to be signed as soon as the text is finalised with the remaining chapters.

Meanwhile, at a Karen ethnic people’s rally in Maubin, Ayeyawaddy region, Tuesday, the KNU pledged to support its peace deal with the government. It, however, called on the government to legalise the KNU to speed up the process.