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UNFC to meet State Counselor in mid-July

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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) will meet State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon in mid-July, according to a statement released on July 1 by UNFC’s Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN).

The statement, issued following Friday’s meeting of the preparatory sub-committee for the 21st Century Panglong Conference led by Dr. Tin Myo Win and Khu Oo Reh of the DPN, asserted that the July meeting with the state counselor would include UNFC’s chairman General N’Ban La and other chairs.

U Hla Maung Shwe (left) and Khun Oo Reh at Friday’s press conference (Photo: MNA)
U Hla Maung Shwe (left) and Khu Oo Reh at Friday’s press conference (Photo: MNA)

“There are clear reasons why we said [the meeting] should be all-inclusive. Some think that what we asked for ‘all-inclusive’ could be only completed if all [groups] signed [the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA)]. But we do not have a policy that says it would only be all-inclusive if all groups signed. We do have basic exceptions and reasons for that. But I’ll stop there,” said Khu Oo Reh, General Secretary of UNFC.

At the press conference after Friday’s meeting, a reporter asked whether the government would allow UNFC member groups that did not sign the NCA last October to participate in the union-level 21st Century Panglong Conference, slated for late August. The question went unanswered.

“The government still keeps a policy of being all-inclusive. To attain all-inclusivity, we have agreed to work together practically to find solutions,” said U Hla Maung Shwe, secretary of the preparatory committee.

Although an exact date has not yet been set, an Ethnic Armed Organization Summit for NCA signatory and non-signatory groups will reportedly be held this month in Mai Ja Yang, Kachin State, to address issues surrounding the upcoming conference. The State Counselor has accepted for the fact that the groups to hold the EAO Summit, said U Hla Maung Shwe.

Attendees to Friday’s meeting, hosted at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, also discussed non-signatory participation in political framework analysis that the government will conduct prior to the 21st Century Panglong Conference.

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