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Published on Monday, 07 January 2013 07:18
President Thein Sein and KNU chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe (Photo-EMG)
Myanmar President Thein Sein and Karan National Union (KNU) talked about taking steps to cease the war in northern state of Kachin and hold political dialogues, a KNU official said.
Thein Sein held a meeting with a KNU delegation, led by its newly elected chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe, in Nay Pyi Taw, on January 5. The meeting was arranged after the president invited the KNU delegation.
It was the second time of meeting between the president and KNU delegation, according to sources.
“We met together to discuss solutions to address the Kachin conflict and steps to prolong the ceasefire between the government and KNU. We also urged the president to initiate political engagement,” Podoh Saw Mahn Mahn, KNU joint secretary-2, told the Eleven Media Group.
He added: “We accept that both the government and armed ethic groups are responsible for the peace issue. But the government or president needs to be patient for a certain period. Myanmar’s 60 years of civil war cannot be stopped immediately. During the meeting, we told the president that we would continue the next stages in our agreements and political engagement with the new government.”
Thein Sein on his part assured the government’s continued efforts for discussing mutually agreed points and peace achievement after the ceasefire agreement.
“The president arranged a meeting as the KNU wanted to meet with the commander-in-chief of Armed Forces regarding a ceasefire in Kachin State. He said he welcomes the KNU for its proposal to help mediate the conflict,” said Dr Min Zaw Oo, director (Ceasefire) of the Myanmar Peace Center.
Also present together with President Thein Sein were Ministers Aung Min, Soe Thein and Khin Yi.
The KNU delegation comprised Chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe, General Secretary Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, Joint secretary-2 Podoh Saw Mahn Mahn and Central Committee members.
KNU is the biggest anti-government ethnic armed group in Myanmar's Kayin state having fought the government for over six decades.
The Myanmar government has reached tentative ceasefires with most of the ethnic armed groups except the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).