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Govt, KIO to resume peace talks

A delegation from the Myanmar government is set to meet for negotiations with representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in state capital Myitkyina in the last week of May.
Kachin Independence Organization representatives met for preliminary peace talks with a Myanmar government peace negotiation team in Ruili in China’s Yunnan Province on Monday, February 4, 2013. (Photo: Hla Maung Shwe / Facebook)
A senior broker from the Peace Making Work Committee, Hla Maung Shwe, told Mizzima this week that the government team, led by Minister Aung Min, had approved a list of demands submitted by the KIO.

The scheduled Myitkyina meeting will be the eighth round of talks between the two sides since a ceasefire fell apart in June 2011.

One of the hurdles to restarting negotiations appears to have been the invitation of neutral observers to the talks. Hla Maung Shwe did not reveal which observers were to be invited, but he confirmed that the government had not objected to anybody on the KIO list.

“Trust building is highly needed in these discussions so there was no objection to any observers from one side,” he said.  

However, Kachin peace broker San Aung said that the KIO had invited representatives from China, the UN, the US and the UK, but that Beijing had disapproved the involvement of the US and Britain.

“The meeting will probably go ahead at the end of the month, but we still need to negotiate some more because China has disapproved an invitation to the US and the UK,” he told Mizzima.

Meanwhile, delegates from the Shan State Army- South (RCSS/SSA) and Minister Aung Min met at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon on Monday.

“We went there to discuss the current situation and to propose future negotiations,” said an RCSS/SSA official. “We did not go to Yangon for official talks.”

In a further development, it has been learned that Minister Thein Zaw, the deputy chairman of the Peace Making Work Committee, joined a government delegation in meeting with the United Wa State Army and Shan State Army- North last week.

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