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Members of the Burmese government-backed Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) sat down for talks on Wednesday with delegates from ethnic groups who represent the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), as discussions continued on whether and when to resume peace talks.
Hla Maung Shwe, a senior adviser for the MPC, said the meeting, held in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, ended without an agreement.
“We were unable to set a fixed date for the resumption of talks aimed at signing a nationwide ceasefire,” he told DVB. “However, we discussed several issues and will be relaying messages from the NCCT to [President’s Office] Minister Aung Min.”
Hla Maung Shwe said both sides had agreed to another meeting to discuss a date for the resumption of negotiations.
NCCT Vice-chairperson Gun Maw, the Kachin Independence Army’s vice chief of staff, said the representatives at the Chiang Mai meeting were unable to compromise on a date due to a series of as yet unresolved issues from the previous round of talks in September.
He said the impasse was not because of recent fighting in Kachin and northern Shan states.
“On Wednesday, we discussed with MPC representatives a means to straighten out these unresolved issues in order to facilitate a seventh round of ceasefire talks,” he told DVB. “Both sides wish to restart negotiations as soon as possible, but we are currently unable to specify a date.”
Sources close to the talks have said the main unresolved issue concerns a roadmap for political dialogue, which would be the immediate next step in the peace process after reaching a ceasefire.