A delegation of representatives of the Karen National Union (KNU), led by Chairman Mutu Say Poe, met with Burmese President Thein Sein and military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw on Sunday to discuss the ongoing effort to implement a nationwide ceasefire.
KNU spokesperson Saw Kwe Htoo Win confirmed that the delegates included himself, Mutu Say Poe, and KNU Central Executive Committee members Saw Roger Khin and Mahn Nyein Maung, who met with Thein Sein on Sunday morning.
“We discussed the nationwide ceasefire agreement, and plans regarding another conference of ethnic armed groups [to be held] in February, as well as the upcoming meeting in Hpa-an [between ethnic armed groups and] the government’s Peace Making Committee,” said Saw Kwe Htoo Win.
After meeting with the president, the KNU representatives met with the Burmese army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.
“We spoke with the commander-in-chief about the ethnic groups’ endeavours. He also stressed that peace is necessary for the country’s development, and that he will continue his efforts with no reversal,” said the KNU spokesman.
Prior to Sunday’s meetings with the president and military chief, the representatives convened on Saturday in Rangoon with Union Ministers Aung Min, Soe Thein, Khin Yi, Ye Htut and several officials from the Myanmar Peace Centre.
The KNU have met with the president and the military chief four times since the start of the peace process. Saw Kwe Htoo Win said that the level of understanding between the two sides increases with each convention.
“As we understand each other more and more, discussions about our differing opinions are becoming much more convenient,” said the KNU spokesperson. “Peace is based upon trust, which we need to build with very careful consideration.”